Campaigners from across Scotland are being urged to attend the demonstration in Festival Square, a few yards away from the Filmhouse on Lothian Road.
Activists involved in the Save the Filmhouse campaign, which was launched after the cinema’s operator went into administration in October, are behind the planned national protest on April 15, which will also demand better access to arts and culture across the country.
Planned to coincide with World Art Day, a global cultural celebration instigated by UNESCO four years ago, it is described as “both an invitation to exercise our democratic right to defend the arts and a proud celebration of the arts as an essential component of our lives – not an added luxury”.
Organisers say the “spectre of inaction” over the ongoing closure of the Filmhouse, amid rumours of an impending sale to a hospitality operator from administrators, has prompted the demonstration, which will get underway at noon.
An official announcement about the protest states: “Unless we take a stand, the arts will remain at the bottom of the political agenda. We are inviting all cultural activists in Scotland to join us on World Art Day on Saturday 15 April to demand more financial support from the Scottish Government for the arts sector, greater access to arts and culture for all residents of Scotland, and fair pay in the arts sector for artists and arts workers.
“This protest is both an invitation to exercise our democratic right to defend the arts and a proud celebration of the arts as an essential component of our lives – not an added luxury.
“We march to protest against climate change, we stand up for women’s rights on International Women’s Day. We should also stand up for our right to cultural life, as recognised in Article 27 of the (United Nations) Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“We don’t want to get by. We don’t want our city and our country to barely survive the current crises. Access to culture and the arts are essential to everyone’s quality of life, especially in times of crisis. We hope you will join us in this fight for what makes us human.”
Jack Gamble, director of the UK-wide Campaign for the Arts group, said: “After the toll of the pandemic and years of real-terms funding cuts, Scotland's arts sector is at a tipping point. We cannot afford to lose the benefits it brings – and we must not waste its potential to shape a happier, healthier and more prosperous future.
"The Campaign for the Arts stands four-square behind everyone showing their support for the arts on 15 April. As we saw last month with our successful campaign against more cuts to Creative Scotland, change is possible when we come together."
Meanwhile award-winning Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty became the latest high-profile figure to speak out on the fate of the Filmhouse building. Laverty told Screen International: “I hope the council and the Scottish Government would feel a responsibility to protect this as a well-run cinema and not allow change of use, otherwise everything folds.”