Since it closed down around five years ago, the old Odeon cinema on Clerk Street, Edinburgh has been subject to various rumours of regeneration and redevelopment, some good, some bad. But the latest plan is to gut the interior, demolish the historic auditorium and create yet another ’boutique hotel’ on the site.
This proposal has been backed by Edinburgh Council in an example of money triumphing over good sense, and now the last barrier to the loss of an architectural treasure is Historic Scotland, who have the final say.
When I was a first year student living just down the road I was a regular visitor to the Odeon. I remember watching big movies like Gangs of New York, The Matrix (one of the sequels) and Die Another Day on the massive screen. OK, not the finest cinematic gems, but when the place was packed on a Friday night (which it usually was), there was a definite sense of occasion.
So I urge anyone who also remembers the Odeon, or anyone who is fed up with blatant profiteering masquerading as ‘urban redevelopment’, to sign this online petition.
And you can stay up-to-date with the campaign at this Facebook group.