TRAINSPOTTING director Danny Boyle is urging the public to help bring the “magic” Leith Theatre back to life.
It has been 30 years since the art deco venue staged its last show.
Gifted to the people of Leith in 1932, it hosted acts including AC/DC and Kraftwerk before closing in 1988 and is currently in the hands of the Leith Theatre Trust, which took over the lease from Edinburgh City Council last year.
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Author Irvine Welsh, who penned the 1993 novel, launched a £250,000 fundraising drive for the theatre’s restoration in January, saying it could become a “city-wide resource”.
Local non-profit arts festival Hidden Door also set up a £10,000 crowdfunder to pay for the “bare minimum” of work needed to allow it to use the site next month.
The campaign, on the Kickstarter site, has reached more than £9,400 with almost a month to go and organisers have doubled the target to “show the theatre off in the style it truly deserves”.
Boyle, an ambassador of Leith Theatre, is backing the push, saying: “Leith has been an important place in my career as a film-maker. The main theatre hasn’t been in use through the years I have known the area but the reminiscences and the affection which clearly exist for it give it a magic which I hope will generate the support the trust needs to get it back on its feet.
“Leith needs a space to be sociable and creative and to gather the community. Please lend a hand and give your support to this effort and vision to bring the theatre back to life.”
Hidden Door’s creative director, David Martin, said: “By launching this crowdfunding campaign, we want to help bring the grand old Leith Theatre back to life and transform it into the incredible venue it should be for the community in Leith and Edinburgh. “Leith Theatre has a glorious past and by contributing to the crowdfunding campaign people can help build a new future for this spectacular theatre.”
Jack Hunter, chairman of Leith Theatre Trust, added: “This is a terrific opportunity for those who enjoy Hidden Door Festival and are interested in Leith Theatre’s restoration to support both organisations in creating a wonderful space for the festival in May and a continuing improvement in the building.”
In January, Welsh, who recalled playing outside the site as a child, said the campaign would allow it to “come of age again”.