Susan Boyle will be one of the first big name acts to perform at the refurbished Odeon under ambitious plans to reopen the mothballed venue for this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
SuBo is scheduled to sing at the Clerk Street venue on August 11, just nine days after the disused cinema is due to hold its grand relaunch.
The scheme to transform the site into an entertainment complex showcasing Las Vegas-inspired cabaret acts is being led by SuBo’s brother, Gerry Boyle.
The businessman said his sister would be performing songs from a yet-to-be-released fifth album.
The announcement came as champagne brand Laurent-Perrier confirmed it had held formal discussions to become a commercial partner in the venture for the next five years.
Glasgow-based catering company Braveheart Functions has committed to the project in growing signs the proposal is on track to become a reality.
Mr Boyle said he had reached an agreement with fellow entertainment guru Tony Jo that would result in acts being shared with Blackpool Opera House. Comedy is proposed to be a major part of the August relaunch, with acts such as Catchphrase star Roy Walker, English funnyman Stan Boardman and emerging talent Billy Hunter all billed as potential acts. Mr Boyle said: “Things are on schedule. The wonderful news is that Laurent-Perrier champagne have confirmed that they’re involved as well. It’s a commercial partnership. They’re going to come up to Edinburgh with a design team and invest in the structure of the building. In return, it goes without saying, that we will be retailing their champagne. We hope to begin refurbishing the building as early as May.”
Mr Boyle has claimed he can reopen the 1930s building, which will be renamed The Instant Arena, for a start-up cost of £250,000.
The first stage of the relaunch would involve restoring the upstairs art deco auditorium into a 600-seat theatre venue and creating a downstairs coffee lounge and a first-floor tearoom and champagne bar named after SuBo.
The entrepreneur’s firm, An Instant World, was granted a certificate of lawfulness by the council in January, allowing the Odeon to again host events.
Mr Boyle made his pitch to the Southside Association and assembled politicians on Tuesday night, flagging up opening hours for the venue from 9am to midnight, seven days a week.