Petition Grows to Save Edinburgh Cinema

posted 2 Apr 2009, 07:33 by South Edinburgh Net Admin

Over two and a half thousand people have signed a petition to stop the former Odeon Cinema on Clerk Street being converted into a 230-room boutique hotel.

Before it closed five years ago, the cinema was used extensively for red-carpet galas during the Edinburgh International Film Festival and for live concerts, as well as a daily cinema. Built in an art deco style in the Thirties, the main auditorium of the former Odeon building houses a huge proscenium arch under a star studded ceiling.

Duddingston House Properties (DHP), the property developer who owns the cinema, wants to demolish the auditorium as part of its conversion. In December 2008, it received permission from the City of Edinburgh Council to convert the cinema which is B-listed and on the Register of Buildings At Risk.

The campaigners say that if Historic Scotland passes DHP’s plans "we risk losing a national treasure." The campaigners argue, on the petition preamble, that the expansive building could be a creative hub instead.

"This space can be converted into a major digital media access centre, a digital film library, and a Scottish art gallery. With a café-bar and restaurant, this could turn into an economically viable and vibrant space for the community and a nationally important creative hub for artists and filmmakers."