Gaiety Theatre

Leith, EH6

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Moss Empires Ltd.

Previous Names: Princess Theatre

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Located in the Leith district of Edinburgh. The building was originally a church, which was damaged by fire. It was converted into the Princess Theatre in 1888. In the 1890’s it was leased to H.E. Moss (of Moss Empire Theatres). On 30th October 1899 it was re-named Gaiety Theatre and films were part of the variety programme. It was running cine-variety by 1909, with some acts taking taxis between the Empire Theatre in the centre of Edinburgh and the Gaiety Theatre.

Alterations were carried out in 1914. The proscenium was widened to 30 feet and the stage was now 35 feet deep. There were eleven dressing rooms. Seating was provided in orchestra stall, dress circle and gallery levels. By 1922 films were being booked by A.B. King. In 1930 it was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system and it became a full time cinema.

It stopped showing films on 2nd July 1944, and reverted back to variety theatre use the following day. The Gaiety Theatre was closed in September 1956 with the revue “Laugh of a Lifetime”. It was demolished in 1963.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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