Edinburgh’s Picturehouse looks set to close its doors as a music venue, with an announcement from its owners, MAMA Group, stating that the Lothian Road venue is to be sold to a new owner. The identity of those taking over is unclear, but the press release states that it is “not expected to re-open as a music venue”, with speculation that a pub chain may be the prospective owner.
The building will close for refurbishment on January 6th, with all events up until December 31st going ahead, but clearly gigs such as the recently-booked Miles Kane show in March will need to be rehoused or canceled.
The historic building has seen many significant touring acts such as Vampire Weekend, Magazine, The Vaccines and Frank Turner perform there over the past five years, following the venue’s rebranding following a brief period as ‘GIG’, at which point its new owners christened it the ‘HMV Picturehouse’.
Edinburgh will now have to hope that the smaller Liquid Room or out-of-town Corn Exchange can accommodate some of the touring acts that have graced its stage.
UPDATE: It has been confirmed that it is indeed JD Wetherspoons who are buying the venue, and say that as the don’t have live music in any of its pubs at present it is “extremely unlikely that live music will continue once it reopens.”
However, they add that: “We are always prepared to listen to the arguments and to discuss it further.” They are also aware of the petition which has recently been established. Here at Jockrock we’d suggest that while things look pretty bleak, it’s definitely worth a shot.