I almost wanted to name this post Save Plymouth from Itself.
I've lived, worked and played in Plymouth for the last eight years; it's the only home my four year old has ever known.
And what a frustrating place Plymouth can be for parents, during the rainy season.
If the weather's great we have the great outdoors to play in.
But where's the shelter?
The National Marine Aquarium, a couple of soft-play areas, Drake Circus (under daughter's duress) The Life Centre, and some cafes with play areas, such as the fabulous Eva's World and the almighty House of Fraser, who can't even sort out their basic facilities such as bathrooms (HOW hot is their water?) and accessibility - the elevators and escalators are frequently out. And don't get me started on their automated doors at the Royal Parade entrance.
And then there's the Reel Cinema.
That quirky haven for film-lovers, historians and frustrated parents. The cosy cinema that was so dark and inviting my 18 month old daughter fell asleep on me. The cinema I went along with my Mum and Mother-in-Law to see Jersey Boys, the cinema I go to on date nights with Mr S15S, for the latest Star Trek (his choice) or X-Men (my choice). The cinema where my 2, 3, 4 and soon to be 5 year old enjoys Christmas films and early weekend Kids' Club choices.
But the cinema won't be around for much longer if developers have their way.
According to the Plymouth Herald today, there are plans afoot to knock down the Reel cinema, formerly the ABC, formerly a place The Beatles, however briefly, hung out, and possibly Lorenzos - yes, the gorgeous Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant, where I've had many an evening, often combined with a Reel visit. It could be last call for the Gala Bingo, too.
What's going on, Plymouth?
What are you trying to do to us parents? Us hard-working people who are fed up with the lack of family-friendly indoor facilities.
In a time when the city is gearing itself up to celebrate a 400 year monumental piece of history - with a country who prides itself on Lights, Camera, Action - in 2020, and during the current development of an actual History Centre, why is this tiny safe-space being targeted?
Why can't the Art Deco building be preserved, as a beacon of hope, for all the creativity that this city inspires?
So I'll be popping along to ask that question, in the Public Consultation, at The Theatre Royal's Pennon Room on Monday 17th October, sometime between 11am - 7pm, to air my views for the record.
Would be smashing to hear you'd joined in to #SavePlymouthReel and save Plymouth from itself.
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