Basic Site Details

Name: King's Theatre (and tenement)
Town, district or village: Kirkcaldy
City or county: Fife
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: 1903 - At Tuesday’s meeting of Kirkcaldy Dean of Guild Court plans were passed for the King’s Theatre which it is proposed to erect on a central site on High Street and Redburn Wynd. The frontage to High Street is to be occupied by a large block of buildings comprising shops and dwelling houses with a wide entrance leading to the theatre. The theatre is to be fireproof throughout and will be erected on the cantilever principle. The theatre is expected to cost between £20,000 and £30,000. The architects are Mr J D Swanston and Mr W Williamson, Kirkcaldy. [British Architect 10 July 1903 Page 36]

Builder: W S Cruickshank (as at King's Theatre in Edinburgh)

Alterations to the Opera House are proposed by Scottish Cinema and Variety Theatres Limited to plans by Mr C J McNair LRIBA 112 Bath-street, Glasgow [Reference not given by Darlington]

A contract for rebuilding the Scottish Opera House for Scottish Cinema and Variety Theatres Limited, has been placed with the Cinema Construction Company Limited. 154 West Regent Street, Glasgow. Plans are by Mr Charles J McNair LRIBA 112 Bath Street, Glasgow. [Builder 14 June 1935 Page 1126]

A contract for the main building work for a new Cinema in the High-street (Messrs McNair and Elder architects, 272 St Vincent Street Glasgow) has been placed with Messes Scott and Company, Dellburn-street Motherwell. [Builder 23 October 1936]

N.B. also 1935 rebuilding the Opera House - is this part of the same contract?

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 6ABC Cinema in 1963
Item 2 of 6Canon Cinema  
Item 3 of 6Hippodrome Renamed as such 1908
Item 4 of 6MGM Cinema  
Item 5 of 6Regal Cinema in 1937
Item 6 of 6Scottish Opera House/The Opera House Prior to rebuilding as cinema in 1916

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 2252-262, High StreetYes 
Item 2 of 2Redburn WyndYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 619031904Build/constructionOriginal building
Item 2 of 6July 1903 Plans approved 
Item 3 of 614 November 1904 Opened 
Item 4 of 61909  Alterations
Item 5 of 61924  Alterations - staircase removed
Item 6 of 619351937Alteration/conversionProposed alterations to Opera House. Interior rebuilt as cinema.


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 7John Daniel Swanston A19031904In collaboration with William Williamson
Item 2 of 7William Williamson A19031904In collaboration with John Daniel Swanston
Item 3 of 7John Daniel Swanston B1909 Alterations
Item 4 of 7Swanston & Syme B1909 Alterations
Item 5 of 7William Syme B1909 Alterations
Item 6 of 7Charles James McNair C19351937Interior rebuilt as cinema
Item 7 of 7McNair & Elder C19351937Interior rebuilt as cinema - McNair responsible


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 2Buchanan, Robert C 
Item 2 of 2Scottish Cinema and Theatre CompanyClient for 1924 work


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 6Glen, Duncan2008William Williamson  p23-24 (illus)
Item 2 of 6Peter, Bruce1999Scotland's Splendid Theatres: Architecture and Social History from the Reformation to the Present Day Edinburgh: Polygon (an imprint of Edinburgh University Press Ltd)pp220-1
Item 3 of 6Pride, Glen L1990The Kingdom of Fife Edinburgh: Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotlandp55
Item 4 of 6Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp55
Item 5 of 6Who's Who in Architecture1914    
Item 6 of 6Who's Who in Architecture1923    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 11British Architect3 July 1903  Page viii - contracts open
Item 2 of 11British Architect10 July 1903  p36 - plans passed
Item 3 of 11Builder1904LXXXVII  
Item 4 of 11Builder11 January 1908   
Item 5 of 11Builder14 June 1935CXLVIII p 1126
Item 6 of 11Builder23 October 1936CLI p 802
Item 7 of 11Building News1903LXXXV p 34
Item 8 of 11Building News3 July 1903  p34 - contracts open
Item 9 of 11Building News1904LXXXVII p 741
Item 10 of 11Building News1909XCVII p 490
Item 11 of 11Fife Free Press28 January 1956  Swanston obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 3Courtesy of Neil DarlingtonInformation sent via DSA website Sent June 2009
Item 2 of 3Fife Archives, Iona House, John Smith Business Park, KirkcaldyKirkcaldy Dean of Guild Court 1903 Ref 648; 1909 reference DG/K/1/951; 1924 ref 13/24 and 36/24; 1936 ref 49/36
Item 3 of 3Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register44063