The Whole Story of The Famous Kinema Ballroom in Dunfermline (now in its 78th Year!)


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The fifties residencies at the ballroom were monopolised by one band in two slightly different guises.

The Topnotchers took up residency in 1947 and continued for the first eight and a half years of the fifties while Billy Hunter & His All-Star Band completed the last six months. They were separated only by a brief period served by Ron Gibson & His Dance Band.

Billy Hunter & His All-Star Band were in fact The Topnotchers without Billy Hunter's brother Cecil, who later became the Kinema's manager in 1959.

The Kinema closed for a period of redecoration on Sunday 3rd June 1951 and reopened on Monday 11th June 1951.

The Sunday Evening Dancing Club opened in the winter of 1952 returning The Kinema to a period of seven days a week opening until the summer of 1953 when it closed again. This pattern continued throughout the middle fifties until the Sunday Club closed for the last time in 1957.

The Sunday Dancing Club was open between the following dates:

30th November  1952  to
  31st May 1953
06th September 1953  to  30th May 1954
10th September 1954  to  29th May 1955
11th September 1955  to  27th May 1956
30th September 1956  to  10th Feb  1957

The Kinema Ballroom's 'Miss lovely To Look At' prize was awarded to Miss Margaret Russell of Edinburgh on Wednesday 18th March 1953.

Friday 18th January 1957 saw the first of five Friday night competitions to find a new vocalist for The Topnotchers. The final was won by Mr. Stuart Cameron on Friday 15th February 1957.

A 'Dixieland Night' was held on Tuesday 5th March 1957.

The term 'Teenager' had entered the vernacular by the late fifties and Dunfermline's teenagers were assigned their own weekly slot on Tuesdays when entertainment duties were supplied by The Zephyr Guitar Four. Wednesdays were dubbed the 'Dancer's Night', while Thursdays were 'Popular Night' and the 'Late Night Special was on a Friday.

The 1st September 1959 saw the first of over five hundred and fifty appearances by local band The Red Hawks. Goodness knows why they later changed their name to The Marshmallow 400.  (Well, by that time it was the sixties!).

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Resident bands were still mostly working six nights a week at this time with only a Sunday nights off until The Sunday Night Dance Club commenced!




Headline Act


The Topnotchers 
Ron Gibson & His Dance Band 
Billy Hunter & His All-Star Band 
The Zephyr Guitar FourTuesdays Only


Single Performances



Headline ActRemarks
15-Aug-1959SaturdayChic Thomson & His Dixielanders 
17-Aug-1959MondayChic Thomson & His Dixielanders 
19-Aug-1959WednesdayChic Thomson & His DixielandersDancer's Night
20-Aug-1959ThursdayChic Thomson & His DixielandersPopular Night
21-Aug-1959FridayChic Thomson & His DixielandersLate Night Special
22-Aug-1959SaturdayChic Thomson & His Dixielanders 
24-Aug-1959MondayChic Thomson & His Dixielanders 
26-Aug-1959WednesdayChic Thomson & His DixielandersDancer's Night
27-Aug-1959ThursdayChic Thomson & His DixielandersPopular Night
28-Aug-1959FridayChic Thomson & His DixielandersLate Night Special
01-Sep-1959TuesdayThe Red HawksTeenage Night (The first of 550+ Ballroom appearances!)
08-Sep-1959TuesdayThe Red HawksTeenage Night

Over Two Million Verifiable Hits since launch in Sept 2006 = Average rate of more than Twenty Thousand Hits/Month

© Copyright Colin WK Gourlay 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
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