There’s little anyone can do about changing tastes

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According to Susan Richardson, several cinemas in the centre of Sheffield were demolished by the council. Let’s hope they had been evacuated first. Many crimes can be laid at the door of Sheffeld City Council but I don’t think that demolishing cinemas is one of them.

I can remember a time when every suburb of Sheffield had its own cinema. Some of these didn’t last much into the television age but others, like the Odeon in Flat Street, were converted into bingo halls and still survive.

I dare say that The Star once carried letters mourning the demise of the music halls and their replacement by cinemas, but times and people’s tastes change and there is little anyone, including councils, can do about that.

It is just as ridiculous to suggest that if the council got Hammerson to withdraw from the Sevenstones project, another developer would step in.

For that to happen, there has to be the prospect that enough quality retailers would commit to the development to make it worthwhile. John Lewis have already made clear that their move to a new store would only be viable if this were the case.

All those people who criticised the council’s stand on the proposed Next store and who are now supporting the Ikea development should bear in mind the potential damage these could cause to any city centre development. Maybe one of the reasons Leeds is now thriving is that Meadowhall wasn’t built on its doorstep.

Paul Kenny