Edinburgh venue The Picture House to close on 31 December

Feature by News Team | 13 Dec 2013

Scottish music blog The Pop Cop reported yesterday that Edinburgh's The Picture House is to close, with all remaining live music and club events which were due to take place beyond 31 Dec 2013 now either cancelled or expected to be hosted elsewhere. Owners and operators MAMA & Company Live have confirmed that they have sold the venue to JD Wetherspoon, who have no plans to maintain the site as a live music venue.

A MAMA & Company spokesperson says: "The sale is due to complete on January 6 and we understand that the new owners will close for refurbishment on that date and are not expected to reopen as a music venue. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the public, the venue staff, and all the great artists and promoters who have graced the stage over the last five years for their support.”

Restored in 2008 to its former art deco glory, the Picture House has been a concert hall several times in its lifespan, as well as a nightclub and a cinema. Edinburgh has a lack of mid-sized venues to accomodate touring bands, meaning that frequently, only Glaswegian audiences get to enjoy gigs from major touring bands. The loss of The Picture House will doubtlessly have an impact on Edinburgh's live music scene. The Evening News also reports that Creative Scotland have been tasked with addressing the lack of mid-sized venues in the city.  

The Skinny's Music Editor, Dave Kerr, offered his thoughts on the closure: "This is obviously pretty devastating news for Edinburgh's nightlife. So many influential bands simply couldn't tour in the capital until a mid-range venue of this quality came into existence five years ago – whether you're talking about Killing Joke, Gang of Four, Wu-Tang Clan, Mudhoney, Chic, Foals – the list goes on, and that's before you even get to the club nights that had found a home there. It's difficult to see how the live music scene will recover from this; The Picture House was essential."