New look for the old Odeon

THIS is the new office block which will replace the old Odeon cinema in the heart of Glasgow.

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The computer generated image has been released for the first time and shows how the building will tower above Renfield Street and West Regent Street.

The venue attracted chart topping singers and bands in the 1960s, hosting concerts by some of the world's top performers, including Cliff Richard, Dusty Springfield and Roy Orbison along with the Beatles and Rolling Stones.

But the only noise now is the sound of demolition work.

In its place will rise a new office block which will be home to 1800 workers deployed across 10 floors.

Costing £60 million, the development is the first Grade A new build of its kind in Glasgow's central business district in almost five years, and will help tackle an acute shortage of quality, modern office accommodation in the city centre.

Shop units on the ground floor are also planned and construction work is expected to be completed in the run up to Christmas next year.

While the developers, Mountgrange and PRUPIM, are demolishing the cinema's red-brick auditorium, the historic white granite art deco facade and foyer on Renfield Street are being saved.

Workmen are currently removing asbestos from that Grade B listed building as part of a £3.5m makeover.

The renovated front-section is also being marketed in an attempt to find new tenants.

Architect Gordon Murray, a director of GMA-Ryder, who is working on the project, said: "It could be used as an office or even a small boutique hotel. Nothing has been precluded. We're looking at a number of options."

The entire complex quickly became a Glasgow favourite when it opened as the Paramount music venue in 1934, before it was transformed into a 2800-seater Odeon cinema. It was later split into smaller cinemas – becoming the city's first generation of multiplex picturehouses.

Enthusiasts tried to save the building but instead the only hint of the site's rich heritage will be the white granite frontage being refreshed for 21st century office life.

gordon.thomson@eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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