85 YEARS BANNER

SEE PHOTOGRAPHS BELOW

The 1970’s was the decade when DMS decided to try and fulfil an ambition that had been in the minds of many, but specifically two, of the members for some years. It was Bill Crowe’s and Frank Anderson’s aspiration that Downfield should own its own clubrooms and rehearsal space. It was their foresight that this must be the future and they created a reserve fund as far back as the late fifties to be ready for day when they could satisfy that dream.

After viewing many properties in Dundee in late 1971 an old house and paint store at 128 Lochee Road became available and Downfield’s offer was accepted. The member’s enthusiasm was overwhelming and almost all of the significant refurbishment needed to the building was completed by their voluntary efforts, so within the following months to September 1972 work continues day and night and the conversion was completed on time and the premises were ready for rehearsal as planned.

It was not till a year later, in November 1973, that the lounge bar opened, which changed the social aspect of DMS … forever!
So, on the night the first pint was poured, DMS were the owners of; a rehearsal hall; a lounge bar; a committee room; a costume store; a workshop for building scenery; a scenery store; a props room; a kitchen and plenty of addition storage space.

DMS were in fact one of the very, very few similar groups in the UK to have such a great asset.
Production wise, DMS settled in their new main venue for future theatre performances– The Whitehall Theatre, Bellfield Street, Dundee which was reopened as the new civic theatre in late 1969, and so the first “main” production that DMS presented in the Whitehall was “The Desert Song” this was followed over the ten years by “The Merry Widow”; “Kings Rhapsody”; “Naughty Marietta”; “The King and I” ; “Camelot”; “Charlie Girl”; “Half a Sixpence”; Hello Dolly; and “Where’s Charley” with at least five of these shows being premiered in the City by the Society. But the 70’s continued to be a two year per show decade.

Pantomime continued to be a great success for the Society year after year.

In 1978 DMS celebrated their Golden Jubilee with a spectacular production of “Hello Dolly” A Dinner dance in The Woodlands Hotel topped off a great year for the Society

1979 even saw the club’s first show on “foreign” soil when they performed for the United States forces on their base at Edzel Scotland

By the end of the decade there were once again worries about the future of the Whitehall and Downfield and the other local musical societies needed to start planning so that they had a venue to perform…… if the worst came to the worst.

1972 1kings72 - 113

(Above ) Roger Buist as Count Egon Stanieff and AnnWallace as Princess Cristiane (Below) Anne Wallace joined by Gordon Angus as King Peter of Norseland, Olive Gibson as Countess Vera Lemainken in "Kings Rhapsody" in 1972

1972 1kings72 - 101
1973 3aladin73-96

(Above Left) Ron Wylie as Mash and Bill Spalding as Mish and Frances Irons as Aladdin (Above) Ann Wallace as The Princess, Frances Irons as Aladdon, Lamont Forbes as Wishee Washee, and Roger Buist as Widdow Twankey (Below Left) Frances Irons as Aladdin and Ann Walace as the Princess in "Aladdin " in 1974

1973 3 1aladin73-91
1975 3 2misc panto duffus btns
1975 3 6misc cinderrs 75 irons&wallce01
theatre

The Whitehall Theatre became the the home of amatuer theatre in the 70's with all shows being perfornmed in the new civic theatre