I stand and watch them do it. They’re up in the rafters, the guys in hard hats, ripping the roof off bit by bit. About half of it is gone already, exposing the skeletal structure underneath, and I wonder how long it will be before the whole building is gone. Not long.

I chat to a local man who’s taking photos. He tells me he’s heard the cinema’s fate has been sealed so he’s come along to take pictures of it “for posterity” and I know how he feels. The Vogue Cinema on Balmore Road is one of the few buildings in this part of Glasgow that hasn’t been flattened. And now it too is about to disappear. It’s gutting.

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The Vogue has had its champions of course. Local campaigners have been making the case for saving it for a while now. Historic Environment Scotland had also been considering an application to have the building listed and you can see why: it may not be the handsomest cinema in the world but the red-brick art deco frontage is worth saving, especially in Possil and Springburn which have had more than their fair share of the wrecking ball.

I speak to Alan Dunlop, the architect who’s been involved in the campaign to save the Wyndford flats over in the West, and he feels strongly about the Vogue cinema too. In some ways, he says, it’s the most important building in this part of Glasgow. It has real character, he says, and when we lose it, there’ll be nothing left in the area of architectural significance.

Of course, we’re also talking about poverty here, and class, and deprivation. Would the cinema be demolished if it was in a posh party of the city? Absolutely not. Alan also says the fact that a demolition firm can move in on the Vogue, with minimum fuss really, and start to pull it down is evidence that the people in certain parts of our city are disenfranchised and disempowered. This kind of stuff always happens to them.

The Herald: There are serious questions for the council too. They confirm to me that the demolition warrant was approved on December 22nd, just when everyone was going home for the holidays. Funny that: the suspicion must be that it was waved through when everything was quiet. I get in touch with the owners of the building, Allied Vehicles, to ask them for their side of the story, but they say the director who’s dealing with it is out of the country.

I’m also worried about the role of Historic Environment Scotland in all of this. The application to list the Vogue was submitted to them in July – half a year ago – and perhaps if they’d moved swiftly or even semi-swiftly, the building could have been saved. They tell me they hope to issue their report imminently but they would not list the building at this time given the advanced development proposals. The problem is that HES would probably list the cinema but only if the council served a building preservation notice for the façade, which they haven’t.

The truth is – and this is what almost every architect and campaigner on Glasgow’s heritage tells me – there needs to be a will from the top (the council) to save buildings like the Vogue and sometimes the opposite seems to be the case. Why else would they quietly sign the demolition order while everyone was wrapping their Christmas presents?

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But a will to do something isn’t the only thing we need: there also needs to be a strategic vision about how old buildings can be part of the regeneration of Glasgow, especially in areas that have been neglected but have potential. Tradeston for example, Kinning Park, Possil. So where’s the vision? We’re waiting. Still waiting.

As it happens, the solution in the case of the Vogue could have been relatively simple. As Alan Dunlop points out, several cinemas in Glasgow have been converted to housing and there was nothing to prevent the same happening with the Vogue. The front could have been cleaned up and saved and it could have carried on standing on that junction in Possil, a remnant but a good one.

I must admit this kind of stuff does get me down a bit: the destruction of buildings that can still serve a purpose. The demolition of something that’s got a bit of style, and a bit of history. And it’s a further blow to a part of Glasgow that doesn’t deserve it, no doubt about that.

I stand in the cold for a bit and watch. And listen: the noise of the ceiling being ripped up, metal coming away from metal; not a nice sound. How long will it take? Will it all be over by the end of the month? Bit longer? The cinema will certainly be gone this year. Which really leaves only one question: which building will be next?