FOND memories of the old Kinema Ballroom are being revived in Dunfermline as the building on Carnegie Drive moves into a new era as a world buffet diner.

In a nod to its iconic history, the old Velocity nightclub will become a new eatery called the Kinema Restaurant, offering a ‘global fusion’ of dishes.

Work to turn the building into a 240-seat restaurant started earlier this summer and now plans have been lodged with Fife Couincil ahead of its anticipated opening in the Autumn.

There had been fears about the future of the famous nightspot after the building lay empty for years.

There was even talk in 2014 that the site would be cleared and shops built in its place. A council report said it had been demonstrated that its use as a nightclub was no longer viable and agreed “it is very unlikely for the site to operate sustainably – if at all – as a public house in the future”.

However, hope was restored when Yanli Zhao, of Kirkcaldy, was given permission in October 2016 to turn the club into a ‘world buffet-style’ restaurant.

It will be open from noon to 10pm, Monday to Sunday, and is expected to create 20 jobs for the town.

The building started as the purpose-built Kinema Ballroom in December 1938 and, due to popular demand, it was extended in 1964.

Known over its 80 years as the Kinema Ballroom, Night Magic, Hollywood Boulevard and latterly Velocity, for decades it was at the centre of Dunfermline’s entertainment scene and one of Scotland’s most important venues for live music.

But for many locals it was the place that many West Fife couples got together at the dancing and a special place to reminisce on their courting days.

Huge acts like David Bowie, Elton John, Billy Connolly, Big Country, Madness and The Who all played at the Ballroom in its heyday, but it fell on hard times and, in its last guise as the Velocity nightclub, it closed in 2009.

The new Kinema Restaurant will be spread over two floors and a mezzanine level, the plan is to use the ground and entrance floor as a reception area with toilets and cloakroom facilities.

On the first floor, there will be seats for up to 200 diners, the kitchen, preparation area and bar, while the mezzanine level will be in occasional use for private functions and parties.

Plans for external alterations to the building show the decor will be a lot more subtle with painted stonework in dark blues and greys with tiled columns and a glass door entrance.