I HAVE read that the former Ringwood cinema site is likely to end up with retail and restaurant use on ground floor, plus residential units.

Being that I am a local, I recall being taken there as a boy with my parents to see theatre productions and watch films. Later, as a teenager, friends and I would go on our own, catching a bus to and from Burley.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, it became a discotheque, where us mods would attend. As would skin-heads and greasers/rockers.

That closed, and the property was turned into small, shabby shop units and restaurant with a club above.

It is a great shame that the former cinema now seems unlikely to return there.

However costs are way out of reach.

We do still have the Covid outbreak to deal with, and there is no end in sight of that.

Market Place is now in affect a cul-de-sac, with West Street shut off by not allowing access directly onto the A31.

Sadly, Ringwood was ruined decades ago when it was sliced in half with the then-new road, laughingly known as a bypass.

A true bypass would have gone either north, beyond Blashford, or south of Hightown.

My gut feeling is that, paying money to watch a film and mixing with strangers, is a thing of the past.

Live performances, on the other hand, have a future.

Ringwood needs to create a theatre and conference hall. Although Greyfriars is there to be used, it somehow does not come across as being readily available, and is not purpose-built.

Somewhere facing the main public car park, and close to bus services.

How about the site of the old Corn Exchange and Town Hall?

Whoops. Gone full circle.