Kirkcaldy theatre plans forging ahead

The inside of the theatre. Pics by David Clark
The inside of the theatre. Pics by David Clark

Ambitious plans to re-open the King’s Theatre in Kirkcaldy as a groundbreaking new entertainment venue took a big step forward this week with the delivery of a long-awaited noise report.

The report will now enable the board to get things moving with a view to having the first phase of the project, the pop-up live music venue in the former YWCA that can accommodate up to 100 visitors, up and running by the summer.

And board members say that despite the unexpected delay, which put their plans back by almost a year, they are as committed as ever to their long-term plan to open up the whole of the former ABC cinema and YW as an entertainment hub to rival the likes of the Playhouse and King’s Theatres in Edinburgh.

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Another setback of a collapsed ceiling in the main foyer area of the cinema, which saw an event by the Scottish Paranormal Investigation having to be cancelled, will not affect the immediate plans.

Grant Foster the venue manager, said he was delighted and relieved to receive the noise report.

“This was a vital part of the legal process which we initially didn’t think we needed because the YW had been used as an entertainment venue in the past, but we were informed it was necessary and it did hold up the whole process.

“However, we now have it and we will have to check through it thoroughly to see if there’s anything we need to do.

“This means that we can now press ahead with getting everything done from a health and safety aspect, like getting the toilets finished, getting a fire alarm installed and sorting out fire escape routes, which we are getting a lot of support for.”

Danny Cepok, a member of the King’s Theatre Ltd management board, added: “We have a funding application for £20,000 going before the Kirkcaldy area committee at the end of the month.

“We are not certain of getting the full amount, but it would help us to get all the requirements of the health and safety sorted out and get us nearer to being able to open up the venue.

“When that is up and running it will give us some income and also show people just how serious we are about making this project work and, hopefully, help us to attract more funding.

“It is a long-term project and it is going to take lots of hard work for a long time, but we are fully committed to having a high quality entertainment venue bringing something different to the people of Kirkcaldy.”

Plans to stage a paranormal investigation at the Kings Theatre in Kirkcaldy had to be cancelled just days before the event.

The sold-out gathering was halted after a chunk of the ceiling dropped down and was left hanging, forcing the organisers to cancel on health and safety grounds.

The £40 per head event, staged by the Scottish Paranormal Investigations, was due to run on Saturday into the wee small hours of Sunday.

It was the group’s first major event of 2019, and quickly sold out.

Just days before it took place, news of the cancellation emerged.

A statement on the group’s Facebook page said: “It is with great sadness as we were preparing to meet you this weekend at the Kings Theatre, Kirkcaldy, that we now inform you of the cancellation of this event on the grounds of health and safety.

“We were contacted this evening after a building inspection by members of the board for the Kings Theatre project and one of our members, who lives locally, attended to look at their concerns.

“A very large part of the original ceiling within the front entrance way has dropped down and 
is left hanging.

“This poses a danger to anybody around it or underneath it should it fall, and there is no way to know how much more it could bring down with it.“

The area is now out of bounds until repair work can be done.

People who signed up for the event will get refunds.