In November, skies are usually lit up by fireworks but this year it will be Leith Theatre that lights up to show progress of its Crowdfunder campaign launched on Bonfire Night 2020.
Leith Theatre, that remains on the Theatres at Risk register, still has a long way to go on its renovation journey and is in need of full repair and refurbishment. One of the last buildings in the UK to be repaired from bomb damage in the second world war, and abandoned to the elements again in the 1980s, the theatre is currently facing its third period of public closure in its near hundred-year history. At the start of this year it was still a pop-up venue with a leaky roof and with some areas having no lights and no heating to speak of, with dozens of the original cast iron radiators having been misappropriated decades ago. To ensure that when it reopens again it re-opens for good, and in the spirit of Leith’s motto of ‘Persevere’, now is the time for them to ask for help.
The Crowdfunder may be called the Big Radiator Generator, but it’s about more than radiators. The aim is to realise the Art Deco cultural gem that is Leith Theatre as a full-time venue that can support, entertain and inspire its community.
Leith Theatre is among the top 12 historic Edinburgh buildings listed at risk of being lost forever. Reinstalling heating in the Main Auditorium will have an immediate effect not only of helping to dry out the damp, stop the mould and protect the 1930s plasterwork, but it isthemost vital component to being able to open the doors to the community all year round with safety and ultimately helping secure its future.
Lynn Morrison, Chief Executive of Leith Theatre said “There is no question that this 1930s building is in need of major refurbishment and capital works. During these months of closure our aim is to look to this specific crowdfunding campaign to ensure we are able to make the biggest impact on our venue’s future and viability. We hope to make the most of closure by scheduling these works in time for when we are able to re-open our doors again and welcome the public back inside.
“Once October arrives, the thermometer plunges to single digits rapidly and stays there until late spring, making it extremely difficult to even be in the space. Please help us bring warmth to the community, help us to deliver these crucial remedial works to this radiant old beauty and help the incredible Leith Theatre get its glow back to become a jewel in the crown of Edinburgh’s venues.”
The campaign target for Leith Theatre is set at £30,000, with the hope of raising an additional £15,000 that will be gifted to three local homeless charities. Whatever the success of the campaign, one third of all funds raised will be donated to these local homeless charities in Leith and Edinburgh. During the campaign, Leith Theatre’s façade will change colour from blue to warmer hues as financial milestones are hit.
Donations can be made via the Crowdfunder website under the name Leith Theatre’s Big Radiator Generator.