IT was built in 1875, and opened as the Diorama, and for more than 130 years it has been a key venue, both for film and music, in the centre of Glasgow.

The loss of the ABC venue, since 2005 a music venue, is a particularly sore one for the Glasgow and Scottish music scene, which has seen several music venues close in recent years.

With a capacious main arena and an intimate second stage, the O2 ABC is one of the reasons that Glasgow was recently boasting about how it could "unlock its potential" as a city of music to rival Nashville or New Orleans.

It has a city centre location, an elegant Art Deco Facade, and, latterly, an enormous mirror ball in its main auditorium, and played host to cult bands, pop chart big hitters, rock, pop, dance and funk veterans, and all manner of Scottish talent in the last two decades.

The venue, perhaps an under rated or under-appreciated one, was one of the best in Scotland for its size and location.

The building's history is an eclectic one - it was at one stage a venue for ice skating, for a circus, then dancehall.

This writer's first memories of the venue are as a cinema - which it was from 1929 when the Associated British Cinema Chain (ABC) took it over, and called it the Regal.

After a major refurbishment in 2005 it became a major music venue, with more than 400 events staged in its halls annually.

Every year tens of thousands of eager gig goers ascended its (slightly cramped) stairs to the main arena, or utilised its long, old-fashioned bar that looked out onto the busy street below.

Its size was not cavernous, like the Armadillo or the Hydro, but could take sizeable crowds without losing too much an element of intimacy.

While not as iconic as the Barrowlands Ballroom, and not as atmospheric and intimate or sweaty as King Tut's, it was a key part of the city's music ecology - it has played host to Adele, Ed Sheeran, Chvrches, The Twilight Sad, Nils Frahm, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, London Grammar, Royal Blood, Kasabian, Florence and the Machine, Gregory Porter and Bombay Bicycle Club, among many others.

The ABC also had regular club nights, also since 2005.

Its loss - as looks very likely - in the disastrous fire of the past weekend is an undoubted blow to the city's music scene.

Live music generates £160m a year for the city and attracts 1.4 million fans to Glasgow.

Glasgow is an official Unesco City of Music, but a recent report said this title had not been utilised enough, being "poorly used and largely unrecognised" - this loss will not help.

The aerial photographs of the destroyed roof of the ABC, next to the burnt-out shell of the Glasgow School of Art, is a dismal one.

Music venues of the size and scale of the ABC are expensive to build, and there are few properties in the city centre that could take over its mantle as an accessible, sizeable, stage for music of all kinds.