KIRK FIELD, of Seymour Road, Newton Abbot, writes:

In relation to the latest plans for Market Walk, Newton Abbot:

As many people have pointed out, the viability of a four-screen cinema in the current economic market is open to question. The current operator of The Alex, Scott Cinemas, work in this sector and want no involvement. This is a red flag. A bigger one is Cineworld selling their UK business.

Hmmm, anyone else see a pattern here?

Perhaps not coincidentally, UK cinema attendances are down 34 per cent on pre-Covid levels

Yet TDC are now proposing a six-screen cinema is the answer to the problem.

If this is passed it would mean the plans for a multi-use community arts centre could not happen as proposed, as the atrium would be sacrificed for the humoungus ‘microwave-in-a-shipping-container’ monstrosity they want to build.

To use an analogy:

Dinner host: Would you like four sausages and mash, or macaroni cheese?

Guest: Macaroni cheese please, I’m vegetarian and allergic to potatoes

Host: Here’s six sausages and mash. 

The White Elephant Cinema or community operated arts centre?

A town of consumers or one of creatives? Children going into town to sit, drink cola and eat popcorn, or to rehearse, perform and grow in confidence?

Civic pride doesn’t come from watching James Bond, it comes from establishing an emotional attachment to a place – as anyone reading this who’s tread the boards at The Alex knows.

Make no mistake. This is a battle for the soul of Newton Abbot town centre.