Carnegie Hall was commissioned in the early 20th century to provide Dunfermline with a public hall for the arts.
It was named in honour of industrialist, businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, widely regarded as Dunfermline’s most famous son.
The building was the second Carnegie Hall, after the well-known landmark in Carnegie’s adopted home of New York. Designed by local architects Muirhead and Rutherford, Louise Carnegie, his daughter, attended the earth-cutting ceremony.
The Hall opened in 1937 with a programme of musical recitals and children’s entertainment, and, as other venues faded in Dunfermline, Carnegie Hall became the main theatre for variety shows and amateur dramatics.
In 1974, Dunfermline District Council took over the management of the Hall, introducing a civic theatre programme that continued to support local amateur groups, but now also included popular Scottish entertainment, pop music acts and pantomime. In 1976, comedian Billy Connolly recorded his Atlantic Bridge album at both Carnegie Halls in Dunfermline and New York.
Contemporary professional drama was added to the mix in 1996. After a period without full-time management, a new management team was appointed in 2000 to develop the hall and its activities. The new staff developed the Carnegie Hall complex, which now incorporated the adjoining Music Institute as a development and studio performance space, into a dynamic arts centre for Dunfermline. The addition of the refurbished Tiffany’s Restaurant completed the venue’s current incarnation as a vibrant and popular destination for drama, comedy, music and more.