MGM Cinema (Former), 260A, High Street, Kirkcaldy

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
MGM Cinema (Former)
Other Name(s)
ABC Cinema (Former); Cannon Cinema (Former); King's Theatre; Opera House (Former); Regal Cinema (Former)
260A, High Street, Kirkcaldy
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NT 28226 91644
Location Type
HS Reference No


4-storey with attic, Renaissance tenement and cinema (former King's Theatre) on corner site, 2-storeys with shops at ground and commercial at 1st floor, the latter with mezzanine appearance. Red sandstone with raised and tabbed margins. 2nd floor lintel course and mutuled eaves cornice. Roll-moulded, keystoned doorcases and oculi, pedimented windowheads, channelled and plain pilaster strips, corbels and stone mullions.

Much original theatre wall decoration retained behind later alterations. Architects drawings (dated 30.3.04) show interior with boxes and mural decoration, and exterior with canopy at tall round-arched doorway. Photograph of hall shows double stair with panelled walls and decorative plasterwork. The staircase was removed in 1924, work being carried out for The Scottish Cinema & Variety Theatre Company, and a 1936 Dean of Guild entry is to "Reconstruct Opera House". The Kings Theatre later became The Opera House, the Regal Cinema, the ABC Cinema and currently (1996) the MGM Cinema. The Cinema Theatre Association Scotland website notes that the cinema closed in December 2000. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
1904; 1909; 1924; 1937
John D. Swanston and William Williamson; Charles J. McNair

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
The rest of the tenement is occupied and not at risk.
Field Visits
February 2004, 19/09/2007, 16/11/2010, 28/5/2014, 24/07/2018
Development History
January 2004: Local planners bring the cinema to the attention of the Buildings at Risk Service. It closed c.3 years ago and is now vacant. 30 April 2004: The Fife Free Press reports on the cinema's inclusion in the Buildings at Risk Bulletin 2004-2005. The Commercial Pub Company is seeking to turn the cinema into a live entertainment venue, but an entertainments licence has been refused. A public house licence application has been put on hold pending a decision on a planning application. May 2004: Planning Permission is granted for conversion into a pub and performance venue after local planners support the application ref: 03/03714/CFULL. Listed building consent for internal external alterations is later withdrawn 4 June 2004: The Fife Free Press reports that a further application for an entertainments licence has been lodged by the Commercial Pub Company. October 2006: The Commercial Pub Company report that they sold the building in September 2005. Ownership details updated. September 2007: External inspection reveals the building is vacant and suffering from a lack of maintenance. It is possible there is further deterioration due to defective roof and rain water goods.
30 April 2004: Fife Free Press report 'Fears over future of cinema and test centre: Listed buildings still lying empty' (30/04/2004)
4 June 2004: Fife Free Press report 'D-Day for cinema club plan' (04/06/2004)
November 2010: External inspection finds no significant change since last visit.
28 May 2014: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously. A marketing board is affixed to the building.
18 March 2016: Local planners advise a local group, The Kings Theatre Community Trust, hope the purchase the property.
9 September 2016: The site is now understood to have been acquired by The King’s Theatre Trust.
24 July 2018: Local planners advise roof repairs have been carried out.
18 May 2019: A member of the public notes the King's Theatre Trust also own another property - the former YWCA - and propose to connect both buildings via a tunnel, bringing the former cinema back into use as a theatre and the former YWCA into a music venue, office space and a restaurant.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
03451 555555


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Cinema
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: Theatre
Name of Owners
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Gifford (1988); Pride (1999), p55.
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit