End of an era as Kirkcaldy nightclub is demolished

Smoke started to appear from the rubble of the former Jackie O's building on Monday
Smoke started to appear from the rubble of the former Jackie O's building on Monday

THE end was swift.

Jackie O, the grand old lady of the Esplanade, was reduced to rubble in a matter of hours on Sunday morning.

The dance hall come nightclub which forms a huge part of this town’s history was no more.

True, the old lady didn’t go without a fight - come Monday and the fire service was called out to investigate as smoke started belching from the mountain of bricks and timber levelled by the demolition team, but the days when everyone headed to ‘Jacks’ are now part of legend.

As a building it may not have been architecturally that much to look at, and inside it was, if truth be told, just a dance hall, but it’s legendary status transcended the Lang Toun.

The people and the atmosphere simply made Jackie O special.

In the 1980s clubbers came by the bus load from as far away as Aberdeen to see the latest pop stars and TV soap actors, while memories of the ‘grab a granny’ nights will also make folk smile - or possible cringe in embarrassment - for years to come.

Heart of the town

For another generation of locals, the building, run by the Maciocia family for so many years, will always be the Trocadero or the Burma or The Garrison - or even The Ambassador; a place which hosted everything from hen nights to weddings, from the big band era to Rock The Rovers.

On the Press’ Facebook page there were dozens of comments left, all of them recalling great nights out when Jackie O sat at the very heart of the town’s nightlife.

From student nights out ordering too many pints of snake bite, to bouncers stamping your hand to allow you admission, to the night the whole town seemed to get in to celebrate Raith Rovers’ Coca Cola Cup triumph, the memories all spoke fondly of a special place, and, of course, its legendary mirrored walkway!

End of era

A colleague remarked at the weekend that Friday nights in Kirkcaldy died after Jackie O closed.

In many ways he was right.

The town now has more clubs than ever, but the the social scene has changed, and, sadly, Jackie O - a building that re-invented itself more often than Lady Gaga and Madonna put together - has now gone in a puff of smoke.

The fact so many people spoke so fondly of it underlines it always was more than just a club.

>> Post your memories of Jackie O on the Press Facebook page www.facebook.com/fifefreepress