THE cavernous arches beneath Central Station have seen many things in their 21 years as Scotland's foremost superclub and arts venue, but never anything like what it will experience this weekend.
As part of the Glasgow Music And Film Festival, tomorrow will see The Arches transformed into an alternative multiplex, with three screens showing a diverse selection of films accompanied by live music.
The centrepieces of this festival within a festival are live sets from Detroit techno wizard Jeff Mills and German composer Dieter Moebius, performing original scores to Fritz Lang's pioneering sci-fi films The Woman In The Moon and Metropolis respectively.
The concept behind the Sonic Cineplex came from Paul Fegan, recently installed Arches music programmer, and his experience in co-programming the much-missed Triptych festival.
Speaking in The Arches' cafe, he said: "The Film & Music Festival has been part of Glasgow Film Festival for six years, so there was a bit of history to the event.
"I looked at what had happened previously, thought about what was good and not so good, and tried to create a weekend of events as opposed to a sprawling mass.
"Then, within that weekend, we wanted to create one event that was core to the whole thing, something we really wanted to make special and have premieres at it and so on.
"So that's where the Sonic Cineplex day evolved from."
He said Mills was "an obvious choice" to headline.
He said: "I'm a Jeff Mills fan and have been for 20 years.
"I knew he had made a score to Metropolis and then I found out about his most recent score, The Woman In The Moon, which had only played once – in Amsterdam at a dance event.
"It felt like a good opportunity to bring it to the UK for the first time.
"At the same time I started to look at the venue: it's dark, underground, cavernous, so it lent itself to a German expressionism-type day.
"Then I started to look at other films of that period and came across Dieter Moebius' score to Metropolis. So I thought, 'We should do both of these films'."
The line-up also features the first Scottish appearance of industrial bass duo Raime with a specially commissioned audio-video show; JD Twitch of the DJ duo Optimo, playing an original score to a film with no plot, dialogue or actors; and Adam Stafford of Falkirk band Y'all Is Fantasy Island scoring The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari.
Elsewhere, Glaswegians Remember Remember will perform unheard work, while Manchester duo Neotantrik's set is accompanied by French horror flick Possession.
Fittingly for a creative programmer, the venue will be laid out on the day. Paul said: "The layout of the place and how it is going to look is special for me because it is using the venue in a way that has not been done previously in its 21 years, .
"That's bigger than just one act. I think people will be impressed by the layout and configuration of the venue.
Asked to pick out a personal highlight, Paul said: "That's a hard one because I am a big fan of a couple of the local acts who are playing. So if there was one act, it would probably be Jeff Mills.
"He has not done this kind of thing in Scotland before. He has played here lots and is iconic in the techno world.
"He was the first choice and he jumped at the chance to do it. He is thrilled by the opportunity because he has played the venue lots of times, but this is a unique thing for him. He is also going to do a talk on the day about his love of the science fiction world.
"And having Dieter Moebius, who is well into his 60s, and is considered one of the founders of Krautrock, playing alongside this techno kingpin, that's really exciting."
lFor more info, see: www.thearches.co.uk