‘The key is to strike the right balance’

THE Odeon in Clerk Street holds golden memories for generations of Capital folk.

This is a cinema which simply resonates with the history of popular entertainment in Edinburgh.

It is where Sir Sean Connery stepped on to the red carpet for the Edinburgh premiere of Diamonds are Forever and where The Sound of Music was screened for a Scottish record-breaking 85 weeks. Music lovers will remember it for gig by everyone from Bob Dylan to the Boomtown Rats.

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So in many ways it would be entirely appropriate if it was to have a future as some kind of all-round 
entertainment venue.

The competition from multiplexes, with their huge choice of films and on-site car parks, makes it impossible for small independent cinemas to compete head-to-head.

Only a limited number can survive like the Filmhouse and Cameo by showing a different selection of movies to the mainstream.

For the Odeon to rejoin the city’s movie mix, it is bound to need some alternative source of income to supplement cinema ticket sales.

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Gerry Boyle’s plan won’t please everyone. It will attract a different clientele to a cinema. There will be more coming and going at later times of night, and with that the risk of disrupting the neighbours.

The key to making a venture like this work has to be striking the right balance. That can only be achieved through meaningful consultation with the local community.

It would be great to think that a way can be found to make this work. After all, no-one wants to see the Odeon left to rot or demolished to make way for a soulless block of flats.

Bah, humbug

Is there a Grinch on the loose in Drylaw? We report today how some mystery character is apparently targeting the local Christmas tree by ensuring that the lights are extinguished almost as soon as they go on.

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The Yuletide yob has so far eluded the city council – and, rather embarrassingly, everyone in the local 
police station beside the tree.

So in the spirit of the classic story, is it time for the community to band together to save Christmas?

Perhaps a mass carol singing demonstration will encourage the Grinch to emerge from the shadows and, overwhelmed with the magic of Christmas, apologise for the wrong-doing and agree to live happily ever after.

Maybe that would be a Christmas miracle too far, so let’s just hope whoever is responsible goes back to their cave where they can sit in the dark if they like – and let everyone else enjoy the festive fun.