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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 17:24 GMT
Stage set after 50-year absence
Kevin Keane
Fife reporter
BBC Scotland news website

Alhambra interior
The theatre has no downstairs seating and needs re-wiring
Actors and dancers will tread the boards at a former theatre in Fife for the first time in half a century.

Dunfermline Alhambra was converted into a bingo hall in the 1960s but plans have been unveiled to turn it back into a full-time professional theatre.

An appeal has been launched to raise the 2m it is estimated the renovation work will cost. The venue has no downstairs seating or dressing rooms.

More than 100 performers will take part in the appeal's launch.

Stage equipment and an overhaul of the electrics are also needed before the venue can open.

Project manager Paul Gudgin told the BBC Scotland news website: "We have given ourselves a year to do it.

"We are adamant we are going to get the venue up and running."

Alhambra exterior
Jimmy Logan, Andy Stewart and The Bachelors performed here

Mr Gudgin, a former director of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and resident of the town, said he believed it would form part of the ongoing regeneration of Dunfermline.

"There's a growing belief that Dunfermline needs a spark to reignite the interest," he said.

The Alhambra was built in 1922 but the growing popularity of movies meant it quickly became a film theatre.

Entertainers Jimmy Logan, the Alexander Brothers, Andy Stewart, the White Heather Group and The Bachelors all graced its boards.

It has the potential to hold 1,000 people, four times more than the town's Carnegie Hall.

The stage was last used in the 1960s before the theatre was converted into a bingo hall, which closed last year.

SEE ALSO
Former theatre to open its doors
06 Sep 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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