From 26 May – 4 June 2017 Hidden Door will transform the long-abandoned Citadel Theatre in Leith into an area where the public can explore and discover live music venues, theatre spaces, bars, a cinema, and a multitude of art exhibition, installation spaces and some of Scotland’s best emerging creative talent.

The stunning derelict art deco theatre has been standing empty and gradually falling into disrepair for 28 years. Leith Theatre Trust has recently been granted a lease for the building and wants to get it up and running as a functioning arts venue for the city.

leith-theatre-chris-scottThere is a huge amount of work needing done to the venue, but Hidden Door has never shied away from a challenging site, and this one is truly inspirational. The venue comprises of a huge auditorium and balcony, with a labyrinth of old dressing rooms, passages, a projector room and an orchestra pit. The history of the building is varied, serving in its time as a theatre, a cinema, and a music venue, hosting the likes of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy.

Hidden Door is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. It is dedicated to opening up disused spaces in Edinburgh, making them available to artists and emerging creative talent for new ideas and groundbreaking projects. This approach is about creating new space for the arts in a broader sense, by providing innovative opportunities and a much-needed dynamic platform for artists and creative talent allowing them to engage new audiences.

2016’s Hidden Door drew over 12,000 visitors to the site over the nine days of the festival. As David Martin, Creative Director says:

“Part of the idea of Hidden Door is to make connections between the creative communities of Edinburgh, and those of other cities and places too, so we are pleased to bring people from all over the country to the festival. We will make it a fantastic and significant cultural event, full of life, energy and creativity.”

For further details, images or if you would like to talk to a member of the team please contact

Images for general use

Citadel Theatre (Leith Theatre)

Download images of the theatre via Dropbox – all photos courtesy of Chris Scott.


Previous festivals

Download all the below images (Zip file, 6MB)

37 Paula Petroll - Collidoscope Photo Credit Chris Scott

Paula Petroll – Collidoscope. Photo Credit Chris Scott. Download as JPG.

Long Room Gig Photo Credit Chris Scott

Long Room Gig Photo Credit Chris Scott. Download as JPG.

Secret Courtyard Photo Credit Chris Scott

Secret Courtyard Photo Credit Chris Scott. Download as JPG.


Massed Band Photo Credit Chris Scot. Download as Zip file.

You can see Chris’ full set of photos from Hidden Door 2015 on his Flickr page.

Photo sets

Creative Electric photos from Hidden Door 2015 (Zip file, 28MB) – all photos credit Chris Scott

Press mentions


Writer’s Picks for 2017 – TV Bomb, 5 Jan 2017

17 reasons to visit Edinburgh in 2017 – This Is Edinburgh, 4 Jan 2017

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh to help save Leith theatre – BBC News, 4 Jan 2017

Irvine Welsh leads campaign to restore Leith Theatre – The Stage, Jan 6 2017

Irvine Welsh backing fantastic news for Leith Theatre – Edinburgh Evening News, 3 Jan 2017

Trainspotting author plots Leith’s return to the stage – The Scotsman, 8 Jan 2017

Trainspotting author aims to bring bright lights back to Leith – The Times, 3 Jan 2017


Leith’s Citadel Theatre given fresh life after 30 years – The Stage, 8 Nov 2016

Derelict Leith theatre to rise again as citadel of the arts – The Times, 2 Nov 2016

Hidden Door Festival To Revitalise Leith Citadel Theatre – Edinburgh Guide, 1 Nov 2016

Festival review: Hidden Door, Electric City – Scotsman, 6 June 2016

Glittered theatre review at Hidden Door – TV Bomb, 5 June 2016

Theatre review: Hidden Door, Abandoned Street Lighting Depot – Herald, 30 May 2016

Experts in Short Trousers theatre review at Hidden Door  – TV Bomb, 29 May 2016

Teleman concert review at Hidden Door – Back of the Crowd, 29 May 2016

Ubu Roi theatre review at Hidden Door – TV Bomb, 29 May 2016


Hidden Doors to return to King’s Stables Rd depot – Edinburgh Evening News, 24 Nov 2015

Hidden Door was the kind of DIY arts showcase Edinburgh needs – Wow24/7, 6 June 2015

Interactive walls tumble as Hidden Door comes to a close – Herald, 2 June 2015

5 Star Review: Hidden Door festival, Edinburgh – Scotsman, 29 May 2015

Art Review: Hidden Door Festival 2015 – The List, 29 May 2015

Hidden Door theatre review from The Secret Courtyard – Herald, 25 May 2015

Review: Hidden Door Festival – Edinburgh Feminist Review, 25 May 2015

Hidden Door’s theatrical highlights – The List, 22 May 2015

Hidden Door Festival 2016: An Artistic Wonderland – Channel 7A, 20 May 2015

Art thrives behind Edinburgh’s Hidden Door festival – Herald, 16 May 2015

Private View: Hidden Door Festival 2015 – The List, 8 April 2015

Former Grassmarket depot to host 2015 Hidden Door festival – STV Edinburgh, 3 March 2015


Festival review: Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh – Scotsman, 30 March 2014

Hidden Door Festival 2014: Edinburgh Short Film Festival Highlights – Edinburgh Reporter, 28 March 2014

Hidden Door Festival: Vaults transformed into market – Edinburgh Evening News, 27 March 2014

Hidden Door festival aims to instil Edinburgh with a new DIY events ethos – The List, 21 March 2014

Hidden Door Festival announces Early Bird tickets on sale – The List, 2 Feb 2014

2016 Supporters and sponsors

Creative Scotland Lottery Year of Architecture Innovation and Design 2016 PRS for Music Foundation
Barneys Beer Black Isle Thistly CrossArtemisBaillie Gifford

Blue ParrotBlue Moon

Edinburgh Beer Factory