Basking on the shores of the Firth of Forth, the district of Leith and its proud “Leither” inhabitants have assumed a unique identity and character, quite apart from that of neighbouring Edinburgh. This is largely because until 1920 the port of Leith was an independent entity with its very own Council, Town Hall and Magistrates. Even today, almost 100 years after the amalgamation of Leith and Edinburgh, you’ll still overhear residents proclaiming themselves to be from Leith rather than Edinburgh and no wonder, Leithers have lots to be proud of!
For centuries, Leith proved itself to be an eminent and prosperous centre for shipbuilding, trade and industry; however, the 20th Century not only brought about two world wars, it also saw the decline of industry and the fall in demand for shipbuilding. The impact on Leith was devasting and the once bustling district became impoverished and run down. In 1983, the closure of Robb’s Shipyard, a Leith Institution, was seen by many as the final nail in the coffin of industrial Leith.
Fear not though as all was not lost! Fast forward to 2019 and Leith has transformed from TRAINSPOTTING to SHOW STOPPING and the determination and resilience of Leith and its people is obvious for all to see. The fusion between the industrial past and the contemporary present is truly awe-inspiring and this week’s Incredible Scottish Wedding Venue could be regarded as the bricks and mortar representation of the highs and lows of Leith. Here’s why the whole of Team Fuze are OBSESSED with lovely Leith Theatre :
• For Leithers, this venue will add a huge dollop of sentimentality to your special day
• Available on both an exclusive use or room-by-room basis
• Blank canvas allowing couples to get as creative as they like
• Just 10 minutes car journey from the train station & 20 minutes from the airport
• Large space to accommodate 180 (ceremony/wedding breakfast) and 400 (evening reception)
• Excellent kitchen facilities
• A photographer’s dream
• Walking distance to some great locations for epic external photographs
• All profits from weddings are put straight back into the refurbishment pot!
Offered as a gift from the people of Edinburgh to the people of Leith in recognition of the amalgamation between the two districts, Leith Theatre’s life began at a very uncertain time. The glitzy theatre opened to the public in 1932 and less than ten years later WWII bomb damage rendered it unusable and it stood in a semi-derelict state for two decades. Following some patching up in the 1960s, Leith Theatre was brought back to life with a bang and became one of Edinburgh’s go-to music venues where the likes of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy did their thang.
Unfortunately in the 1980s, the Theatre couldn’t survive the dilapidation of the area and the building stood empty and silent for almost thirty years. However, you can’t keep a good Leither (or Leith institution) down and brand new life was finally breathed into the Theatre in 2016 by the wondrous warriors at the Leith Theatre Trust who have transformed the neglected building into a vibrant creative space and the most FABULOUS of wedding venues. Celebrant, Mo Ackroyd, was the first of Team Fuze to conduct a ceremony at Leith Theatre at the gorgeous wedding of Monika and Ewan back in August 2016 and from that moment onwards we were all head over heels in love.
The theatre is split into four distinct areas; Thomas Morton Hall, the Crush Foyer, the Crush Hall and the Balcony Suite. Each space possesses its own distinctive character and couples are able to hire the entire theatre for exclusive use or utilise one or two of the spaces to suit their requirements. The whole venue is a complete blank canvas so creative couples on the lookout for a place to make their own need look no further!
Monika and Ewan opted to utilise every inch of Leith Theatre and the results, which were beautifully captured by Mack Photography, were epic! The ceremony was held in the Balcony Suite, which comfortably seats forty or up to seventy standing guests and its stone pillars, atmospheric light and maple and oak parquet floor fills the space with true old-school romance.
After the ceremony, the couple ventured down to the shore where they took full advantage of Leith’s nautical heritage as part of their wedding photography and the fun didn’t stop outside. Although unavailable for hire, the elephantine and gloriously shabby main theatre is accessible under supervision and we would advise that ALL couples take advantage of this incredible space. While the four main areas of the venue have been beautifully and sympathetically refurbished, the stark reality of the Theatre’s troubled life hits hard as you make your way into the crumbling and dilapidated main theatre. The huge space appears to hark back to Leith’s shipbuilding past where you could almost be inside a ginormous hull, there’s even portholes along the upper level of the auditorium!
During the couple’s photography adventure, wedding guests made use of the stunning art-deco Crush Foyer and Hall where canapés and champagne were served while guests enjoyed gazing at the original ticket booths, marble statues and grand staircase and took advantage of the space immediately outside the entrance of the venue.
Monika and Ewan used Thomas Morton Hall for the wedding breakfast and evening reception. This space can host up to 180 for a sit down dinner and because Leith Theatre has no affiliation with specific caterers, the world of catering is your oyster and a brilliantly appointed commercial kitchen is available for caterers to whip up a storm to impress guests.
Thomas Morton Hall is also a fantastic space to hold the evening reception as there’s space for up to 400 guests to dance the night away on the sprung wooden floor. There’s also a large stage for a band/DJ to entertain.
Leith Theatre is a marvellous venue in a magnificent district of Edinburgh and its resilience and resurrection is truly inspiring. We would defy any Leither or proud Edinburgh inhabitant not to be blown away by this venue and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, all proceeds from weddings contribute to the management and redevelopment of the building. ALL THE FEELS!!!
Venue – Leith Theatre
Celebrant – Mo Ackroyd
Photographer – Mack Photography
Couple – Monika & Ewan
Date – August 2016