Fife theatre plan moves forward as licence is granted

The project has been granted an alcohol and entertainment licence
The project has been granted an alcohol and entertainment licence

The reopening of the old Kings Theatre in Kirkcaldy moved one step closer this week after it was granted an alcohol and entertainment licence.

And the latest development means that the proposed opening date for the first phase of the project is still on track for mid July.

At Fife Licensing Board on Monday, Grant Foster, head of development for the Kings, asked for the licence to be granted to help move things forward.

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Phase one will include a small hall with a capacity of 120 people on the ground floor of the former YMCA building on the town’s Esplanade.

Mr Foster explained: “This is the start of changing the former ABC cinema into a sustainable, non-profit community hub.

“This is an ambitious project. We hope that by opening this first phase we will show its sustainability and make the Kirkcaldy waterfront a place for the night-time economy.

“We envisage a variety of events taking place – music gigs, spoken word, comedy shows. The hall will also be available to hire during the day for things like amateur dramatics. We want to make it a hub where people can come along and see what we are doing.

“We’d like to have the bar licenced during the day as well as night so we can accommodate private hires and functions.”

Children and young people will also be allowed in the hall from 11am to 11pm but must be accompanied by an adult.

Phase two will see the upstairs of the former YW building, which joins onto the old cinema, refurbished to include recording studios, training facilities and a community hub, while phase three – the largest and most challenging part – will include the refurbishment of the formal ballroom area into a fully functioning seater theatre.

After the licence was granted, Mr Foster told the Press: “This is a major milestone. Getting to this point has posed many challenges and taken longer than we had anticipated, but we are delighted to be here.