In focus: Exclusive look behind the scenes at Leith Theatre in Edinburgh

For generations, Leith Theatre has sat at the heart of the community of Edinburgh’s port.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 7:00 am
The actor's view of Leith Theatre's main hall, taken from backstage

Today, it is one of the 31 buildings currently on the Theatres At Risk Register. Built between 1929 and 1932 when it opened, Leith Theatre has had a troubled existence.

In 1941 the main auditorium was bombed in an air-raid forcing its closure until 1961.

In the late-Eighties and Nineties it gradually fell into disuse and disrepair having played host to Edinburgh International Festival productions such as Rikki Fulton’s​ ​A Wee Touch o’ Class in 1986.

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The power is on in Leith Theatre's main hall

Many, however, will know it as the music venue where gig-goers rocked out to the likes of AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Dr Feelgood, Slade, Mott the Hoople​, Kraftwerk ​and even The Wombles back in the Seventies.

Used as a Council storage facility for many years, it was saved from being redeveloped into flats in 2004 with the f​ormation​ of Leith Theatre Trust, whose ongoing mission is to refurbish the auditorium, which​ ​re-opened in 201​6​, as well as other backstage and front of house areas​ continues to this day​.

More recently, the venue has showcased up and coming local talent such as Retro Video Club, Connor Fyfe​ and ​Nova Scotia ​T​he Truth while also playing host to big hitters like Young Fathers, Teenage Fanclub and The Snuts.

Here, Edinburgh Evening News Entertainment Editor Liam Rudden shares some exclusive behind the scenes images taken during a recent visit to the venue.

The original hand-written guide to the electrical circuits remains in the backstage fuse box

For more details of how you can help Leith Theatre’s revival, visit www.leiththeatretrust.org/

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A balcony view of Leith Theatre's raked stage
The cheap seats of Leith Theatre's back balcony
The secret backstage 'Women's Bar' at Leith Theatre
Original light fixture and gilded vent in Leith Theatre's main hall
Backstage - Leith Theatre's dressing room corridor