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Arts festival to transform derelict building

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Edinburgh's Hidden Door Festival is looking for funding to transform an abandoned Art Deco cinema

An innovative arts festival in Scotland’s capital is hoping to raise £7,000 to renovate a run-down art deco cinema.

Hidden Door is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run multi-arts festival transforming disused spaces in Edinburgh into temporary new and exciting places to discover and explore.

Last year, it helped kick start the renovations to the 1932 Leith Theatre (main picture), which had been left forgotten and decaying for nearly 30 years but is now making a strong comeback as a music venue.

This year Hidden Door is hoping to do the same for the nearby State Cinema (interior picture above) and has launched a crowdfunding appeal.

The State Cinema in Leith opened in 1938, part of a forward-thinking multi-use leisure development which closed to films in 1972. It went on to host a bingo hall and nightclub before closing its doors for the final time in 2004.

The Hidden Door Kickstarter appeal is half way towards its target with just one week to go, so the organisation is urging people in the capital to help with a donation from as little as £5.

The 10-day Hidden Door festival of music, theatre, visual art, film and spoken word temporarily opens up these old buildings, shining a light on culture and creativity and the potential of the spaces.

This year’s festival will be back at Leith Theatre to help with the ongoing restoration as well as the State Cinema.

A spokesperson for Hidden Door said: “Edinburgh is renowned for its festivals, but the city suffers from a surprising lack of arts and music venues for local and visiting artists and creatives.

“Overwhelming public support of our efforts last year, combined with the huge untapped potential of the theatre has drawn us back; we are determined to continue the journey to help restore this spectacular venue to its former glory and rightful status as a vibrant arts and music hub for the community in Leith and Edinburgh.

“We could not resist this once in a lifetime opportunity to move into the former State Cinema and to open it on a temporary basis to audiences before it is re-developed; to give people the chance to explore and delight in discovering its hidden secrets.”



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