Multi-arts festival Hidden Door will return to Leith Theatre in 2018, following the huge success of this year’s festival which welcomed over 13,000 visitors into the stunning art deco building, and we’re also in early discussions to use the former State Cinema building as an additional space to expand our programme. Read the full story here.

What people said…

An “inspiring and successful festival” which “perfectly demonstrated the capabilities of the gorgeous old Leith Theatre as a living, breathing concert venue”. “Ad-hoc but ingeniously curated art and performance” David Pollock, The Scotsman

A “minor miracle […] a long-neglected building has undergone a remarkable renaissance”. Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman

“With each step further into the depths of this abandoned masterpiece, the building grows wilder. Each corner, every space reveals something new” Amy Taylor, The Skinny

A “nomadic cauldron of creativity which is unlikely to sit still for long […] a sprawling village of alternative culture” Neil Cooper, The Herald

A ”riot of noise and colour” Mike Wade. The Times

“Get along to Hidden Door as often and as soon as you can.” Just For Culture




David Martin, Creative Director of Hidden Door, said:

“This year’s festival left the public – not to mention the Hidden Door team and contributors – wanting more. Leith Theatre has enormous potential to be the venue the city is crying out for, and we can’t wait to continue the journey with the Trust and everyone involved in bringing it back to life permanently.”

Jack Hunter, the Chair of Leith Theatre Trust said:

“Leith Theatre Trust is delighted that the Hidden Door Festival will be returning to Leith Theatre in 2018. Next year marks a developing partnership approach between us and we will be working together to gain funding so that we can regenerate the amazing art deco building that is Leith Theatre. Hidden Door really helped put us on the map for a lot of people in 2017 and we’re excited that we’ve both made the List’s Top 100 side by side at 24 and 25. We’re looking forward to showcasing the huge range of performing and visual arts in Hidden Door in 2018 to a large and enthusiastic audience.”

Venue and Site Team Leader Hazel Johnson said:

“There’s a lot to do at the former State Cinema building, but Hidden Door has always been up for the challenge and this felt like the perfect addition to our plans for the theatre just around the corner. The developers have been very open to the possibility of using the cinema, and it’s a great match for our skills in bringing spaces back to life. Now, more than ever, we’re going to need the people of Edinburgh and Leith to get on board and support us to make something incredible happen in Leith next May”.

Daryl Teague, director of Glencairn Properties, said:

“The cinema building, originally designed by architect Sir James Miller, first opened in December 1938 as part of a multi-use leisure development. It’s had a number of different uses over the years and played an important part in the Leith community. It’s fitting that this incredible building, that’s sadly been left to ruin over recent years, will provide a backdrop for the arts in Edinburgh. We’re delighted to help play our part in supporting the Hidden Door festival and look forward to seeing the space transformed once again.”


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

Images for general use

Main Photo Pack

Download the first Hidden Door 2017 Photo Pack (Zip file) with images from past festivals, the Leith Theatre, and some of this year’s acts.


Previous festivals

Download images from previous Hidden Door festivals (Zip file, 6MB)

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

Press mentions


Leith Theatre rebirth in the running for Creative Edinburgh Awards – The Scotsman, 13 November 2017

Hidden Door festival to return to Leith Theatre – The Stage, 5 November 2017

Hidden Door returns to Leith Theatre and new venue – The Skinny, 3 November 2017

Landmark Art Deco cinema to be reborn for Hidden Door festival in Leith – The Herald, 3 November 2017

Former Leith cinema to reopen as Hidden Door festival venue – The Scotsman, 3 November 2017

It’s Leith again for Hidden Door – All Edinburgh Theatre, 3 November 2017

Hidden Door returns to Leith for 2018 festival – The List, 3 November 2017

Hidden Door confirms 2018 fest – All Edinburgh Theatre, 25 September 2017

Music review: Tinderbox Orchestra at Hidden Door – The Scotsman, 10 June 2017

Live Review: Tinderbox Orchestra at Hidden Door Festival – The National Student, 9 June 2017

Tinderbox Orchestra launch album as Hidden Door closes – Channel 7a, 5 June 2017

Leith Theatre is a gem of a venue – The Scotsman, 5 June 2017

Inside Look: Hidden Door Days 7 & 8 – Just For Culture, 3 June 2017

Hidden Door review: Flint & Pitch and Metropolis – The Herald, 2 June 2017

Idlewild at Hidden Door: Review – God Is In The TV, 2 June 2017

Hidden Door Festival – Take It From A Local, 1 June 2017

Leith Theatre is Scotland’s best new live music venue. Let’s do everything we can to keep it going – The List, 1 June 2017

Hidden Door 2017: Day 5 Review – The Wee Review, 31 May 2017

Hidden Door opening weekend in pictures – The List, 31 May 2017

Rules of the Moon at Hidden Door: Review – The Herald, 30 May 2017

Inside Look: The old Leith Theatre – we explore the venue – Just For Culture, 30 May 2017

Inside Look: Hidden Door Festival 2017 – Just For Culture, 30 May 2017

The Adventures of Prince Achmed: Review – The Herald, 29 May 2017

Hidden Door 2017 – Day 2 Review – The Wee Review, 29 May 2017

Leith Theatre reopens doors for arts festival – The Times, 29 May 2017

Festival review: Hidden Door opening weekend – The Scotsman, 29 May 2017

KinoKlub at Hidden Door: Review – Cinema’s Fringes, 27 May 2017

Derelict Leith theatre to open up for Edinburgh Festival – The Scotsman, 26 May 2017

Hidden Door finds a new home at Leith Theatre – The Herald, 26 May 2017

Hidden Door 2017 – Lost in Leith Theatre – The Skinny, 25 May 2017

Hidden Door festival is helping to bring Leith Theatre back to life – The Scotsman, 22 May 2017

Hidden Door: the festival turning Edinburgh’s forgotten spaces into creative hubs – The i, 8 May 2017

Hidden Door Festival transforms and reopens the Leith Theatre after almost three decades – The List, 12 April 2017

The essential guide to summer in Edinburgh – The i, 10 April 2017

Artists to lead creation of new ‘vision for Leith’ – The Scotsman, 10 April 2017

Trainspotting director Danny Boyle calls for help to bring Leith Theatre back to life – The National, 7 April 2017

Trainspotting director Danny Boyle backs Leith Theatre plea – Edinburgh Evening News, 6 April 2017

‘Hidden Door’ Launch Crowd-funding Campaign to Restore Leith Theatre – Edinburgh Reporter, 6 April 2017

Former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary building in frame to host arts festival – The Scotsman, 25 March 2017

Hidden Door festival to revive abandoned old Leith Theatre – Time Out, 20 March 2017

Hidden Door releases plans for Leith Theatre festival – The Herald, 7 March 2017

#HiddenDoor 2017 Festival will be in fabulous Leith – Edinburgh Reporter, 3 March 2017

Anna Meredith and Idlewild kick off Hidden Door 2017 – The List, 3 March 2017

Hidden Door Festival reveals line-up for reborn Leith Theatre – The Scotsman, 3 March 2017

Hidden Door reveals 2017 line up – The Skinny, 3 March 2017

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

Plenty of great artists to catch at Hidden Door – The National, 26 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

Hidden Door is a non-profit, volunteer run arts festival which brings forgotten and abandoned spaces back to life with art, music, theatre, dance, spoken word, cinema and more. Hidden Door 2018 will take place from 25 May - 3 June, both at Leith Theatre and the old State Cinema. See more about the venues.

2018 Call for Proposals

See details of our Call for Proposals for Film.