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Leith Theatre and Public Library

Leith Library & Former Town Hall (1929)
©2017 Gazetteer for Scotland

Leith Library & Former Town Hall (1929)

A B-listed complex of three buildings located on Ferry Road in North Leith, the Leith Theatre and Public Library was gifted to the people of Leith by the Edinburgh Corporation following the merger of the Burgh of Leith into Edinburgh on the 10th October, 1920. Work began in 1929, when a foundation stone was laid by Lord Provost Sir Alexander Stevenson (1860 - 1936). The buildings are constructed of sandstone ashlar in the inter-war classical style by architects Bradshaw, Gass and Hope, based in Bolton in the North of England. The complex, which comprises Leith Library, Leith Theatre and the Thomas Morton Hall, opened in 1932. An office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages occupies the former newspaper room in the library. The fine original interiors are retained. The theatre features art deco details but was damaged by a German bomb in 1941 and remained closed until 1961. It was used as a venue by the Edinburgh International Festival 1961-68, but closed in 1988. Its fine auditorium can seat 1200. The Thomas Morton Hall features a shallow barrel-vaulted roof, has a capacity of 400 and was equipped with a stage to serve as a community theatre.

The complex is owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, who operate the library. The Leith Theatre Trust intend to restore and reopen the theatre.


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