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


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George Keiller & His All Star Band maintained their resident duties (with The Harry Dewar Quartette on Fridays) until June when Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats took over.

The Red Hawks 'Twist Club' continued to be popular throughout 1963 on Wednesdays while they also played support for many touring acts.

Who could have foreseen the recent reformation of The Falcons when they made their Ballroom debut in January and played Saturdays throughout the year?

1963 also saw another important debut in April when local boys The Shadettes made the first of many Ballroom appearances with this name and later as Nazareth from 1970 to the present day. The Shadettes played the ballroom only once in 1963, 1964 and 1965 before landing a residency in November of 1966.

Another innovation to accommodate the burgeoning popularity of dancing was the Saturday afternoon dances introduced in June.


The Story of how The Beatles played The Kinema (OK, ... almost played).

On Friday 3rd August 1963, The Beatles played for the last time at The Cavern Club Liverpool and nine weeks and a day later, on Sunday 6th October 1963, they played two 30 minute shows (6:30pm and 9pm) at The Carlton Theatre, Sinclairtown in Kirkcaldy with 'in support.

This wasn't the original plan though. Andy Lothian Promotions in connection with Albert Bonici began negotiations to bring the fab four to Scotland and approached Cecil Hunter ('Mr. Kinema Ballroom') amongst others in Dundee and Glasgow ... and Cecil turned them down! Popular local legend has it that Cecil's decision was a purely financial one, however around the same time it seems, the Fab's manager, Brian Epstein, had ruled that due to the growing hysteria shown at their performances, the group would no longer play ballrooms and dance halls and would only play all-seated venues such as theatres or cinemas. (Ref: Mark Lewisohn's book 'The Beatles Live!').

So then, which story is true?

Basically both stories are true ... but one after the other ...

Firstly I have it on the best of authority (direct from Cecil Hunter's son, John) that Cecil did turn down their original booking enquiry to play The Kinema Ballroom. However the decision was not made on the basis of finance at that time, because their fee was only £40 per night. The simple fact of the matter is that Cecil's wife, Sally, saw them on TV on in a paper "she did not like the look of them". It was that simple. A case of early Girl-Power surely!  I can further substantiate this story with an actual quote from Cecil himself who said in an interview with The Dunfermline Press "The wife had seen them on the telly and she did not like the look of them, so when they first came to Scotland I cancelled their booking - but they proved me wrong" admitted Mr Hunter. (I understand that Sally Hunter was a formidable character!).

The facts are that The Beatles suddenly became HUGE and they out-grew 250 capacity venues like the Kinema, almost overnight. (The Kinema's rebirth with the extension to a 1000+ venue did not occur until more than one year later on November 30th 1964). Consequently Brian Epstein's £40 a night fee for The Beatles became £500 a night ... in one step.

Subsequently The Beatles were successfully booked to play 'The Raith Ballroom' on 'The Prom' in Kirkcaldy before they were moved to the much larger 1500-seater Carlton Theatre in Park Road (netting Andy Lothian & Albert Bonici £100 profit!). Tickets cost 15/- and songs performed included 'Do You Want to Know a Secret', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Love Me Do', 'From Me to You', 'Please Please Me' and 'Twist and Shout'. This venue swap helps to substantiate the Epstein 'theatres not ballrooms' ruling. The Carlton (opened in 1937) later became a bingo hall and was sadly burned-down in 1972.

So Cecil booked 'Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats' for The Kinema instead that night and exactly seven days later, fifteen million people watched 'The Fab Four' perform on 'Sunday Night At The London Palladium' and Beatlemania was born. In March of 2006 a handbill advertising the Kirkcaldy Carlton gig above was advertised for sale on eBay for $3,500! (though did not sell) and a fully signed programme recently sold for £6000!


Incidentally, the band was photographed with winners of a Daily Record competition to meet The Beatles backstage at their gig in the Carlton cinema in Kirkcaldy and two of the the six girls were fifers (Lily Thomson, 17 from Methil and Valerie Hunter, 18 from Rosyth). The girls found George & especially John to be very friendly and chatty but Ringo & Paul in particular was a bit "stand-off ish".

But the smiles in the picture hid a row - Beatles manager Brian Epstein initially refused to allow the girls backstage, as his group were "too big for that sort of thing" He was only slightly premature ... very soon they would be!

Of course US President John F Kennedy was assassinated on Friday 22nd November 1963 and Robert McKenzie contacted me to say he clearly remembers a friend telling him the news in the Kinema that night when the music was once more provided by Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats.

Other highlights this year included:

The Baron Knights
Brian Poole & The Tremeloes
Craig Douglas
Jimmy Justice & The Exchequers
Eden Kane
Kathy Kirby
Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
Gerry & The Pacemakers
Anita Harris
Rolf Harris
The Original Checkmates

January 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
02/01/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks

03/01/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

04/01/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

05/01/1963SaturdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

06/01/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

09/01/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
10/01/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

11/01/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

12/01/1963SaturdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

16/01/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
17/01/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

18/01/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

19/01/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Dunfermline outfit reformed in 2005!
20/01/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

23/01/1963WednesdayAnita HarrisThe Red Hawks 
24/01/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

25/01/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

26/01/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

27/01/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

30/01/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
31/01/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

February 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/02/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

02/02/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

06/02/1963WednesdayRolf HarrisThe Red HawksTicket 4/-
07/02/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

08/02/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

09/02/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

10/02/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

12/02/1963TuesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
14/02/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

15/02/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

16/02/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

17/02/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

20/02/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
21/02/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

22/02/1963FridayThe Red Hawks

23/02/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

24/02/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

27/02/1963WednesdayThe Baron KnightsThe Red Hawks
28/02/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

March 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/03/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

02/03/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

03/03/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

07/03/1963ThursdayKenny Ball & His JazzmenGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band 
08/03/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

09/03/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

10/03/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

13/03/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
14/03/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

15/03/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

16/03/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

17/03/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

19/03/1963TuesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
22/03/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

23/03/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

24/03/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

27/03/1963WednesdayCraig DouglasThe Red Hawks 
29/03/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

30/03/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

31/03/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

April 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
03/04/1963WednesdayThe Original CheckmatesThe Red Hawks 
04/04/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

05/04/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

06/04/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

07/04/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

10/04/1963WednesdayEden KaneThe Red HawksTickets 5/-
11/04/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

12/04/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

13/04/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

14/04/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

17/04/1963WednesdayTommy Lister & The Dunfermline City Jazzmen

18/04/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

19/04/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

20/04/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

21/04/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

24/04/1963WednesdayThe Shadettes
The Shadettes first Ballroom gig. They would become 'Nazareth' in February 1970 (Tickets 3/-)
25/04/1963ThursdayAlan Elsdon & His Jazz Band
Featuring Mick Emery
26/04/1963FridayTania DayThe Harry Dewar Quartette 
27/04/1963SaturdayThe Falcons


George Keiller & His All-Star Band

May 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/05/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
02/05/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

03/05/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

04/05/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

05/05/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

08/05/1963WednesdayMalcolm Clarke and the CrestasThe Red Hawks
09/05/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

10/05/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

11/05/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
The Beatles' 'Please Please Me' started a run of 30 weeks at #1 on this day (the longest ever period at #1)
12/05/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

15/05/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
16/05/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

17/05/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

18/05/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

19/05/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

22/05/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks

23/05/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

24/05/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

25/05/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

26/05/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

29/05/1963WednesdayBobby Dene & The DynamosThe Red Hawks
30/05/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

31/05/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

June 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/06/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
The Red Hawks play in the afternoon too.
02/06/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

05/06/1963WednesdayMike Berry & The InnocentsThe Red Hawks 
06/06/1963ThursdayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

07/06/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

08/06/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

09/06/1963SundayGeorge Keiller & His All-Star Band

12/06/1963WednesdayThe Baron KnightsThe Red HawksFeaturing Duke D'Mond
14/06/1963FridayThe Trad Lads

15/06/1963SaturdayThe Falcons

18/06/1963TuesdayWes Sands & The LeroysThe Red HawksThe Red Hawks Twist Club
20/06/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

21/06/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

22/06/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
23/06/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

26/06/1963WednesdayPete Kerr's Scottish All-StarsThe Red HawksThe Red Hawks Twist Club ('Pete Kerr's Scottish All-Stars' were formerly known as 'The Clyde Valley Stompers').
27/06/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

28/06/1963FridayThe Harry Dewar Quartette

29/06/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
30/06/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

July 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
03/07/1963WednesdayJohnny Hudson & The Teenbeat ShowbandThe Red Hawks
04/07/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

05/07/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

06/07/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
07/07/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

10/07/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
11/07/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

12/07/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

13/07/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
14/07/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

17/07/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
18/07/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

19/07/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

20/07/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
21/07/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

23/07/1963TuesdayMike Satan & The HellcatsThe Red HawksThe Red Hawks Twist Club
25/07/1963ThursdayThe Chris Barber Show

26/07/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

27/07/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
28/07/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

31/07/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club

August 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/08/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

02/08/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

03/08/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
04/08/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

07/08/1963WednesdayGerry & The PacemakersThe Red Hawks
08/08/1963ThursdayThe Chris Barber Show
09/08/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

10/08/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
11/08/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

14/08/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
15/08/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

16/08/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

17/08/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
18/08/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

21/08/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
22/08/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

23/08/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

24/08/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
25/08/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

28/08/1963WednesdayDev DouglasThe Red Hawks
29/08/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

30/08/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

31/08/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.

September 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/09/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

04/09/1963WednesdayBrian Poole & The TremeloesThe Red HawksTicket 6/6
05/09/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

06/09/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

07/09/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
08/09/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

11/09/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
12/09/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

13/09/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

14/09/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
15/09/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

18/09/1963WednesdayJimmy Justice & The ExchequersThe Red Hawks 
19/09/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

20/09/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

21/09/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
22/09/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

25/09/1963WednesdayThe Baron KnightsThe Red HawksThe Red Hawks Twist Club
26/09/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

27/09/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

28/09/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
29/09/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

October 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
02/10/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
03/10/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

04/10/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

05/10/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
06/10/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats
This is the night The Beatles should have played The Kinema! Instead they played at The Carlton Ballroom in Kirkcaldy.
09/10/1963WednesdayWayne Gibson & The Dynamic SoundsThe Red Hawks
10/10/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

11/10/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats
Edith Piaf dies on this day
12/10/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
13/10/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

16/10/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
18/10/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

19/10/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
20/10/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

22/10/1963TuesdayIan Crawford & The BoomerangsThe Red HawksThe Red Hawks Twist Club
24/10/1963ThursdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

25/10/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

26/10/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
27/10/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

28/10/1963MondayThe Falcons

30/10/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club

November 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/11/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

02/11/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
03/11/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

04/11/1963MondayThe Falcons

06/11/1963WednesdayKathy KirbyThe Red Hawks 
07/11/1963ThursdayTerry Lightfoot & His Jazz Band

08/11/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

09/11/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
10/11/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

11/11/1963MondayThe Falcons

13/11/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
15/11/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

16/11/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
17/11/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

18/11/1963MondayThe Falcons

22/11/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats
JFK assassinated on this day!
23/11/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
24/11/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

25/11/1963MondayThe Falcons

27/11/1963WednesdayJohnny Hudson & The TeenbeatsThe Red HawksThe Red Hawks Twist Club
29/11/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

30/11/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.

December 1963
DateDayHeadline ActSupport ActRemarks
01/12/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

02/12/1963MondayThe Falcons

04/12/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
06/12/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

07/12/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
08/12/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

13/12/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

14/12/1963SaturdayThe Falcons
Horace Demarco & The Kool Beats play in the afternoon too.
15/12/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

16/12/1963MondayThe Liver Birds
The girls' answer to The Beatles
18/12/1963WednesdayThe Red Hawks
The Red Hawks Twist Club
20/12/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

21/12/1963SaturdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats The Falcons play in the afternoon
22/12/1963SundayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

24/12/1963TuesdayThe Red Hawks

25/12/1963WednesdayHorace Demarco & The Kool BeatsThe Red HawksThe Red Hawks Twist Club
27/12/1963FridayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

28/12/1963SaturdayHorace Demarco & The Kool Beats

30/12/1963MondayThe Falcons

31/12/1963TuesdayThe Red HawksThe KB Dixielanders

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