Now Leith Theatre is being transformed into the new home of a daytime TV show, which will see antique dealers battle it out to snap up precious treasures brought in by members of the public.
The venue, which dates back to 1932, has become the new home of the hit BBC One show The Bidding Room, which stage and screen star Nigel Havers presents.
It will be filmed for around ten weeks in the venue, which has not been fully opened to the public since the 1980s, but has been revived for temporary uses over the past five years, including festivals, concerts, theatre productions and music videos.
Leith Theatre, which was deployed by the National Theatre of Scotland earlier this year to provide the setting for a new film-theatre version of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, will be playing host to The Bidding Room before it is transformed again for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, including concerts by Arab Strap, Princess Nokia, Niteworks, Kae Tempest and Jeff Mills.
The Bidding Room, which was previously made in a showroom in Yorkshire, was lured to Edinburgh after an approach from the city’s film commission.
Made by the same producers as The Repair Shop, The Bidding Room attracted an average of two million viewers per episode when it was launched in 2020. An appeal has already been issued for members of the public to take part in the series with a “prized antique, a collectible or anything else you think is desirable”.
The Bidding Room has been lured to Edinburgh by its film commission, which worked with the producers of Beechgrove, Bargain Hunt, Come Dine With Me and The Home Makeover Show last year.
Film Edinburgh commissioner Rosie Ellison said: “We put Leith Theatre forward as a potential location at the end of last year, so it’s great the producers have jumped on it.
“It’s a versatile gem of a venue and still in the process of being refurbished.
“But this filming is breathing new life into the space, supporting people to rediscover antique treasures while helping with the building’s regeneration.
“The benefits will be felt beyond the walls of the theatre too, because productions hire local services in Leith and nearby, which is welcome news as the city and the film industry continues to recover from the effects of Covid.”
Leith Theatre Trust chief executive Lynn Morrison said: “It is a real pleasure to have the TV industry bringing life to the building and we look forward to members of the public bringing their unique items into our unique space.
“The show is all about old and precious items being given a second chance to shine, which is very much how we feel about Leith Theatre.
“Our message is that by repairing and reusing old and existing buildings we can support sustainable living, economic recovery and growth, and reduce carbon emissions for a happy and resilient society, so we really welcome The Bidding Room team in their search to find old and vintage pieces ready for a new life. They’ve already hit the brief with us.”