A LARGE neon light being installed at Dunfermline's Alhambra Theatre is set to brighten up the Auld Grey Toon.

The Alhambra sign - red letters on a green background - has been constructed by a firm in Newcastle and was transported north this week.

Work began on putting it up high on the side of the building on Tuesday and the sign should be ready to light up Dunfermline by this weekend.

After successfully attracting top-name acts and West End musicals since being transformed from a bingo hall, the Alhambra management now want it to fully look the part of a vibrant venue by reviving a tradition going back 80 years to when the first neon display went up at the theatre in 1931.

"This will act as a beacon drawing more and more people into Dunfermline which we have been doing since we opened," said Bill Fletcher, Alhambra owner and chair of the theatre's trustees.

"This will continue the regeneration of the town centre and give the theatre a showbiz, Las Vegas-type appearance.

"People will be able to see this from the other side of the Forth Road Bridge and we want people coming here from all over.

"It's all about bringing people into the centre of Dunfermline which helps other businesses and it also ties with the restoration of the building.

"We can see from the old photographs that this was the way the building looked more than 50 years ago.

"With the red on the green background it will certainly be highly visible - you won't miss it." Photographs from 1950 show the original Alhambra sign being erected on the side of the theatre with advertising hoardings below.

When the theatre put similar promotional displays on the same part of the building two years ago it sparked a dispute with Fife Council and they had to be removed.

However, the council has now partly funded the neon sign and work has started on putting advertising spaces back up to promote future shows.

Mr Fletcher was recently critical of the council's handling of pavement alterations outside the theatre, as reported in the Press, but appreciates their assistance with the light project.

"The trustees are delighted that the council has been able to support us financially with this," he said.

Although the Alhambra is expected to have its name up in lights by this weekend an official switch-on will be arranged for a later date.

A Press story in 1931 reported, "The frontage of the Alhambra picture house in Canmore Street has been effectively illuminated by the installation of a Neon electric light of the latest type.

"The illumination, coupled with the existing lighting of the frontage, produces a striking and pleasing effect." Things were looking even brighter in November 1950, when the Press reported the installation of "Fife's largest Neon sign" which could be seen "from the Lothian side of the Forth".