£3m Kirkcaldy theatre revamp split into two phases, allowing doors to re-open for panto
The doors to the Adam Smith Theatre WILL re-open later this year.
A £3m refurbishment will now be done in two phases to allow the venue’s famous panto to go ahead.
Work is already underway transforming the main auditorium, but OnFife has confirmed it will be paused to allow some shows to go ahead later this autumn - COVID restrictions permitting.
The theatre’s doors closed at the start of lockdown in March 2020, and were not expected to open again until 2023 following a major transformation which will turn the venue into one of the region’s major creative hubs.
Following discussions with the project team and stakeholders, OnFife has decided to split the work into two phases.
The first - already underway - will focus on a refurbishment of the main theatre.
That is due to be completed in July, followed by extensive work to completely transform the rest of the building from February 2022 to May 2023.
That raises the prospect of live shows returning to the venue in the autumn, provided restrictions on public crowds have been lifted.
The theatre confirmed it means the annual panto, cancelled in 2020, will go ahead at the Adam Smith, and the trust is working with local groups to also get them back on stage.
Kirstie Keay, director of corporate and commercial development, said: “We’ve agreed a strategy that we believe can complete the building work quickly with minimum disruption.
“Behind the locked doors of our much-loved theatre, something remarkable is beginning to emerge and we think people love what they see when those doors finally re-open.”
The main auditorium is now a construction site with all seats removed.
Carpets and seats will be replaced, walls and woodwork painted , and a new sound system installed.
But the biggest change will follow in phase two when work starts throughout the rest of the building.
The foyer will become home to a design suit, which offers space for start-up creative businesses to work and opportunities to network.
The cafe/bar will become a new venue - the bar will also be moved to the rear of the space - the box office will occupy a central space, and the lower function suite overhauled.
The upper foyer will become a new social space for theatre-goers and creative hub users to enjoy, encouraging people to meet before, and after, performances and create a great spot for café/bar customers.
And the Beveridge Suite, which was originally going to be office space, will be retained with an improved kitchen and the addition of a permanent bar.
The area behind it that hosts a manager’s office, storage space and a small green room/meeting area will be turned into a creative meeting space.
Added Kirstie: “In the world after lockdown, income-generating spaces such as these are likely to be in high demand as workplaces shed offices and maintain distance working, which can only benefit the Adam Smith and the town centre by generating a great reason to visit.
“Feedback and input from community groups and theatre users are helping shape the theatre for a future fit for its second century.
We’ve been privileged to talk to a variety of community groups and theatre users and to listen to their thoughts and concerns.”