A Facebook group has been set up (don’t you hate that phrase?) in a midlands town; so far, 150 people have signed up. The founder justifies her campaign thus:
“The Council advertises that one of its priorities is to be cleaner and greener; how can that be true when we have to travel so far by car, adding to the carbon footprint?”
So what is it that forces residents to drive unreasonable distances? Medical care? Education? Grocery shopping? No, all of these are in plentiful supply locally and well served by public transport.
What this town lacks is a multiplex cinema. The unfortunate inhabitants only have access to a two-screen town centre Odeon – 385 and 190 seats respectively – which is, apparently, not enough for some people; the campaign’s founder is ‘fed up having to travel to Northampton or Milton Keynes to view films in a modern big cinema’.
Now I’m not averse to the occasional night out at the pictures, but I’m intrigued by this wish for a multi-screen venue, since the main screen may be large but the other eight or so range in size down to something smaller than some of the televisions on sale in Curry’s. In any case, since you can only watch one film at a time, I’d have thought the number of screens is largely irrelevant.
But more interesting than that is the phrasing – that imperative ‘have to’. A cinema already exists, centrally located and near several car parks, big enough to hold 1% of the town’s entire population. It shows the same films as the big venues, it even sells the same over-priced sweets and buckets of popcorn.
And yet, when the 150 Facebook petitioners pass it by on their 40 mile drive to a multiplex, their increased carbon footprint is someone else’s fault.
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