Like many of Edinburgh’s residents, I felt instant anger at the proposal to turn the Picture House in Lothian Road into a giant Wetherspoon pub.
The Picture House is an iconic live music venue which has brought a great variety of artists to play in Edinburgh. It has also hosted many a charity benefit gig and losing this would be a massive loss to the area and to Edinburgh in general.
We have a daughter who is approaching 14 who was very much looking forward to seeing her first live music there – something that would be denied to her should this go ahead. It’s vital that we leave positive things for our teenagers to do.
As citizens of Edinburgh, we have to make a stand in preserving our culture and history and not selling out this venue to a soulless monster pub. Lothian Road has been improving its image and reputation over the last few years – a warehouse pub is going to drag it back into the 1980s. It will attract masses of people only interested in drinking large quantities of cheap alcohol.
This can only lead to an huge increase in disorder in the area, especially with the huge Waxy O’Connors opening in nearby Rose Street.
Edinburgh already has masses of Wetherspoons and masses of pubs. What it doesn’t have is live music venues of this size.
We have to ask ourselves what sort of vision is it that we want for our city? Is it a giant theme park filled with cheap alcohol, or a living, breathing and cultural city enjoyed by its residents?
The Picture House is an essential part of Edinburgh’s nightlife. We don’t want Edinburgh turned into a no-go drinking zone.
We want something for our young people to aspire to and get involved in. Please help me in any way in resisting this conversion by raising this urgently with the council, your MP/MSPs and the licensing board by insisting on keeping this as a live music venue and please let us leave something for all of us to enjoy.
• You can sign Murray Ross’s petition by going to www.change.org and searching for Edinburgh Picture House. You can follow the campaign on Facebook at Save PictureHouse and on Twitter @SaveThePicHouse