Theatre could complete town centre jigsaw

Kings Theatre Kirkcaldy'3D visuals for plan to transform the former cinema in Kirkcaldy High Street into a live entertainment venue.'Image credit: Douglas Kelso

Kings Theatre Kirkcaldy'3D visuals for plan to transform the former cinema in Kirkcaldy High Street into a live entertainment venue.'Image credit: Douglas Kelso

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It all starts with a vision. Without that the doors to our old cinema will simply never open.

The plan to transform the old ABC into the re-birth of the King’s Theatre, Kirkcaldy, is challenging, ambitious, but, above all, hugely exciting.

There’s a clear parallel between it and the re-development of the Alhambra Theare in Dunfermline.

It too had a glorious past - built in 1922 as a theatre and cinema before becoming a bingo hall which subsequently closed in 2006.

Within around two years, businessman Bill Fletcher had the name in lights up once more, and the venue has since gone on to host everything from West End shows to A-list stand-up comedy and bands as big as Kasabian.

If they can do it in Dunfermline, they can certainly do it in Kirkcaldy ...

The building holds many great memories for generations of Langtonians, but its future could be even 
more exciting.

The King’s would be a phenomenal asset to the Lang Toun and the Kingdom; one that would certainly rekindle Kirkcaldy’s night-time economy, and bring people back to the heart of our High Street.

Add in the new cinema barely a few hundred yards along the Esplanade and suddenly the pieces of the jigsaw start to fall into place - the blueprint from Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions, Adam Smith Close, a new waterfront and, long term, a re-aligned main road combining to give our town centre a new sense of purpose.

One watch of the promotional video is enough to spark enthusiasm in even the most thrawn of of Fifers.

From the moment the green doors are opened you step back in time. It’s more or less exactly how you remembered your last visit to the ABC to see Dirty Dancing, Miss Congeniality or Lethal Weapon.

The art deco box office is still on your right, the stairs leading down to cinema two and three and just need a quick vaccuum to get rid of the stoor.

Inside the main upstairs cinema you see the real extent of the decay - chunks of plasterboard missing from the ceiling and light pouring in, while some of the chairs remain tilted upright next to rows upon rows which have been stripped bare.

The stage and screen are covered in debris, but the old kiosk where we bought our juice and hot dogs is still there, the shutters pulled down. It’s like peering into an abandoned building. A place where time has stood still.

The artist’s impressions of what it could look like are simply stunning - and that’s where the vision comes in.

Imagine the main cinemas turned into a 2000 seat venue hosting the world’s greatest orchestras, the biggest bands and the very top shows, and, next to it a re-born YWCA for corporate events, possibly even a restaurant.

A lot of work lies ahead, but there’s something about this vision that has captured the support of people across town.

The building holds many great memories for generations of Langtonians, but its future could be even 
more exciting.

And isn’t it time this town got right behind a project and turned a dream into a reality ...?