CAMPAIGNERS will attempt to prove an art deco cinema auditorium threatened with demolition can be saved and restored to community use at a hearing today.

Read more: Art deco cinema in demolition battle

The claim comes as objectors battling against a move to turn a beloved but neglected derelict former seaside cinema in Portobello into 20 homes will make their case as the flats plan is debated by councillors.

Residents and business people, who are launching a rival bid to redevelop the 1939 building as a cinema and community hub, are trying to block Edinburgh-based owners Buckley Building's plan to demolish the auditorium, maintaining only the facade.

Read more: Art deco cinema in demolition battle

The developer pointed to the council report to be considered which said there is asbestos in the roof and "the auditorium/main hall of the building has now reached the end of its serviceable life".

HeraldScotland:

Michael Davidson, of Friends of the George, said: “We have had experienced conservation consultants examine the building and we are comfortable that it is certainly not beyond repair.

“So we have to make that case.

“I’m convinced that sufficient scrutiny has not been brought to bear.

“The engineer and I will attempt to dissuade the committee members of this assertion that the auditorium is beyond repair."

Read more: Art deco cinema in demolition battle

The developer's supporting statement said: “It is not only a loss to the architectural history of a significant period of building de sign but also disappointment to the local community when a listed building is lost.

HeraldScotland:

"This planning and listed building consent application represents a transparent and honest attempt to salvage and improve the best remaining parts of this long time neglected and abused former art deco cinema.

"It is a fact that the building which exists today bears little resemblance to the first design."

Read more: Art deco cinema in demolition battle

Edinburgh City Council's development management sub-committee is due to decide on the plans for the structure which was designed by Thomas Bowhill Gibson, also responsible for the Dominion Cinema in Morningside in the Scottish capital today.