Iconic Edinburgh venue bought out by pub chain

Frank Turner and Amanda Palmer are against the closing of The Picture House

Iconic Edinburgh venue, The Picture House, has been sold to the JD Wetherspoons chain.

Wetherspoons have said that the Lothian Road venue will be turned into a ‘superpub’ after the venue closes at the end of December, reports the Edinburgh Evening News. Over the years bands such as Pink Floyd, Queen, New Order, The Smiths and AC/DC have all played the venue, which was previously known as The Caley Palais and was formerly a cinema.

Amanda Palmer has signed a petition to keep the space open as a live music venue, started by Callum Mouat, the venue’s bar supervisor. Frank Turner has also linked to the petition on Twitter, writing: “Sad to hear the Edinburgh Picture House might be closing”.

Speaking to Edinburgh Evening News, Mouat said: “It was a huge shock to the staff and the management when we discovered the Picture House was to be sold… It’s one of the biggest venues in Edinburgh, and there’s already a real shortage of decent places for bands to come and play here. Now we’re going to see more and more people forced to travel to Glasgow to see their favourite artists. I felt like I should try to do something, but I’ve been totally blown away by the support the petition has received.” At the time of writing, the petition had received over 6,500 signatures.

However, a spokesperson for Wetherspoons has said that it is “extremely unlikely” that live music will continue at the venue. “Our aim is to develop it into a Wetherspoon pub, though at present there is no opening date,” they commented. “We do not have live music in any of our pubs, so it is extremely unlikely that live music will continue once it reopens. However, we are always prepared to listen to the ­arguments and to discuss it further.”