Now, after years of false dawns and lapsed plans, the old Odeon cinema and Paramount music venue in Glasgow city centre is on the cusp of a takeover that will see it brought back to life.
Most of the art deco listed building, which opened in 1934, is expected to be sold to two developers for £5 million in the coming days. The partners will then turn the building, which backs on to the new Buchanan Galleries extension, into offices.
Mountgrange and Prupim, the firms behind the plan known as One West Regent Street, aim to speculatively develop a 147,000sq ft office scheme before the end of 2014 to capture an expected surge in demand.
In the 1960s, as the Paramount, it was one of the hottest venues around. Dusty Springfield, Roy Orbison, Gene Pitney and Cliff Richard played there at its peak.
It later became an Odeon cinema, but closed in 2006.
The building is currently owned by Duddingston House Properties, which secured planning approval last November for offices in an 11-storey tower on the site of the cinema's auditorium.
It had planned to give the building a multimillion-pound facelift, but the dire economic climate meant it failed to continue with its own ambitious £80m plans for an office and leisure development.
However, it will retain the front foyer part of the building and is thought to be looking for a leisure operator to develop that area.
According to trade magazine Property Week, there are many leases in the city which will be coming to an end between now and 2017 and, if fully let at target rents of £27-28/sq ft, the scheme would be valued at a total of £60m to £62m.
The city has seen no speculative development since 2007.
The move comes just months after theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh had announced he was prepared to invest his own money to transform the former cinema into a 2000-seat playhouse.
The producer of musicals such as Oliver!, Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera said he wanted to save the landmark building from developers planning to turn it into office accommodation.
Mr Mackintosh, 65, visited the venue during its boom period to watch artists such as Maurice Chevalier and Danish comic pianist Victor Borge and said during the summer that he had commissioned colour sketches of how it could look.
But with a deal reported to be on the verge of completion, Prupim's involvement is a vote of confidence in the Glasgow economy.
It is also the first speculative development agreement that Mountgrange has made outside London since 2004.
It is also understood that in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, Mountgrange has made tweaks to the planning consent, so contractors would be able to start construction immediately.
All parties declined to comment.
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