Leaders: ‘Just let them stand on their own two feet’

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A MULTIPLEX cinema at Fort Kinnaird is bound to be extremely popular – in Hollywood terms a blockbuster. Sitting conveniently beside the city bypass and the A1, it would attract movie-goers not just from south-east Edinburgh, but across the Capital, East and Midlothian, and the Borders too.

That’s why Debenhams and TGI Fridays are keen to follow them to the Fort – because they know that’s where so many of us will be heading.

It is also precisely why city officials are urging councillors to throw the plans out. They fear that so many of us will choose to go to Fort Kinnaird instead of Ocean Terminal or the Omni Centre that the other cinemas and nearby shops and restaurants will lose out or even close down. They would rather tens of thousands of us continue to travel further or go to a shopping centre that offers us less simply to protect the status quo.

No-one wants to see other shopping centres turned into ghost towns as shoppers desert them in their droves. But is the future of Ocean Terminal or the Omni really that precarious? Are they really offering so little of what we want in our precious leisure time? If so, isn’t it better putting them out of their misery?

The alternative, of course, is to let them stand on their own two feet. See what the other cinema chains can do to keep us treading a path to their door in the face of new competition. Cheaper tickets? A wider choice of films? Better or cheaper nachos and pick ‘n’ mix?

Isn’t that better than the city council trying to prop up shopping centres that we aren’t really that keen on using? Who should decide whether shopping centres live or die? City council officials or us, the customers?

Fans enjoy iPie

It is a common dilemma for football fans . . . do you leave your seat early before half-time and risk missing a goal to ensure the prime spot in the pie queue? No longer so for thousands of Hearts supporters who, whether they like it or not, will not have to miss any of the action to be assured the matchday staple.

The club is introducing an app to allow fans to order food straight to their seats. The announcement, of course, will be somewhat overshadowed by current events at Tynecastle, but on the back of Hearts trialing Scotland’s first 3D match programme, it does at least show the club is working hard to improve the matchday experience of fans.

Other clubs should take note. Watching football is an expensive business and fans have been taken for granted for too long.

If we want crowds to increase then it has to be made as enjoyable and comfortable as possible – even if the fare on the park is mince.

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