Scotland's oldest working theatre could be demolished under plans to make way for a modern replacement.
The theatre is Scotland's oldest working playhouse
The 213-year-old Theatre Royal in Dumfries has links with poet Robert Burns and Peter Pan author JM Barrie.
Proposals to modernise the building while keeping the original frontage failed to win planning approval earlier this year.
The Theatre Royal Trust now claim the only way forward is to build afresh, a move likely spark protests.
The trust spent years working up a £5.2m scheme to build a new theatre behind the existing Shakespeare Street facade.
Funding was in place, including more than £2m from Dumfries and Galloway Council, but the authority's planning committee rejected the proposal, putting the whole project in doubt.
The new plan involves clearing the site and starting from scratch.
Trust chairman Howard Hann said it was controversial but pointed out that the theatre had changed many times, bearing no resemblance to the one that Burns knew.
Wilson Ogilvie, the Dumfries-based heritage convener of the Burns Federation, said he understood the difficulties involved in overcoming the planning problems.
But he said he was not happy about the prospect of the building being demolished.
Famous names to have appeared at the Theatre Royal include silver screen comedy legends Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel.