Stirling Community Theatre
On the 20th of October 1883, Dr Edward Stirling (Later Sir Edward Stirling) laid the foundation stone for the Stirling Institute hall.
On the 18th of January 1884, the Hall was opened, even though it was not yet completed. A large “opening party” was held in Dr Stirling's Aldgate Flower gardens.
It wasn't until Saturday May 8th 1884 that a musical and literary evening was held at the hall, of which the hall would host many more, although somewhat sporadically, until 1972
The building had two front rooms added in 1885 and then more additions, that completed its construction were finished in 1898, these included the stage area and two rooms upstairs. Down stairs the two rooms were used as the Stirling council offices and town library, also the two upstairs rooms were used by Council for meetings, Lodge on Friday nights and Anglican church services on Sundays.
The hall was well used by locals, with silent movies being played there, and also dances and Grand Balls to support local places like the hospital. In 1962 the library closed and in 1978 the movie theatre part of the hall ceased showing films.
The building was saved from demolition in 1972, and effort was made by local community groups to revamp the Hall, the name was changed to the Stirling community Centre (later to become the Stirling Community Theatre) .In 1972 the two resident groups were the Stirling Players and the Hills Musical Company.
The facilities of the location improved over the years and now the Theatre stands to the testament of its two main attractions, The Stirling Players and Hills Musical Company, if neither had not attracted large crowds with their excellent reputations, this building would probably have been lost to development many years ago
It is rumoured that the old council chambers are haunted by a former councillor who was caught having an affair with a colleagues wife. The husband, it is said, beat the adulterous colleague senseless and stuffed him into a large safe in the building, where he eventually suffocated and died.
As far as we have been able to ascertain so far, this is just a rumour, as of yet we have found no verifiable facts about a man dying in a safe in the Council Chambers.
© 2013 Allen Tiller
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