City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Demolition of Art Deco Odeon Cinema Gets Thumbs Down

By edg - Posted on 09 June 2011

Odeon Clerk St

Plans to demolish the auditorium of the former Odeon Cinema on Clerk Street and build an "arts hotel" were given the thumbs down by Edinburgh city councillors yesterday.

Duddingston House Properties (DHP), who bought the B-listed art deco building in 2003 for £1.5 million, previously received approval for the plan from Edinburgh's planning committee in 2008, but it was halted by the Scottish government.

DHP actively sought offers for the building in 2010, received four potential buyers, rejected them all, and re-applied for planning permission.

The Southside former-cinema is far from "saved" following yesterday's vote. With the council having done a u-turn on their earlier decision, DHP may appeal.

The Thirties building, which hosted EIFF red carpet premieres such as The Thomas Crown Affair, has fallen into disrepair after being unused for 9 years. Campaigners for Save Our Cinema have rallied around the New Victoria Project, which unsuccessfully bid £600,000 on the building last year.

Campaigners fear that the longer DHP holds out, the more costly restoration work will be for the building and are now urging the council to demand repairs and begin compulsory purchase proceedings.