Not only the Queen’s Cinema, but other buildings in that area need attention

Dear Sir,

I would refer to the letter of Mr. Joseph Lezano on the 14th August, referring to recommendation in letter from Mr. John Culatto dated 29th November, 2013, to retain the Queens Cinema and up-date it to the latest standards for the community. 

I read Mr Lezano’s letter with interest and I understand completely his point of view and also his absolute Right to voice it for everyone to hear; whether they like it or not.

I must say that, having lived in Trafalgar House for some 14 years now and also knowing the dilapidated state of all the buildings on the Trafalgar traffic Island, which includes the Queen's Cinema, I must disagree with Mr. Lezano’s point of view and these are the reasons why.

The whole area surrounding the buildings on the traffic island, Queen's Hotel, Queen's Cinema, Trafalgar House and a number of smaller dilapidated buildings are all in a dire need of re-construction, re-furbishment and up-grading.

Taking the Queen's Cinema site, I am fully in favour of the emotional need to retain an “old loved one” in our community but, not only is it shabby, dated and old fashioned it is also in a near dangerous condition. My view is that spending lots of hard-earned money keeping the façade and trying to make it habitable again is like throwing good money after bad. Demolish it before anyone gets hurt!!

The new theatre proposed at John MackIntosh Hall will cope with not only the artistic performers’ requirements but also the general public who will also have a function hall and suites that can be used for years to come.

The “hold onto the “Queen's Cinema brigade”, although all having their hearts in the right place, are not seeing the whole picture. If HMGOG make income from selling the sites for development then why not plough this into a modern, clean, larger and more flexible arts centre for all of Gibraltarians and visitors?

I speak, personally, for Trafalgar House Management who also have a building requiring a great deal of re-furbishment and up-dating. We would prefer to do this on a completely renewed “Trafalgar Quarter” area which may up-grade the whole area for everyone’s benefit in the area; it is an area sadly neglected over the years whilst the “North end” of Main Street and the Ocean Village Developments have been taking all the kudos, support and development potential in the North end. Let us all consider moving the good architecture further South.

Let us all give thanks for all the memories of the Queen's Cinema but it is an old building on a prime site and in the control of HMGOG who, we may rightly assume will do the best for the country as a whole and re-allocate funds to our new and vibrant cultural centre which, I understand will also be designed for used as a cinema as well as all the other artistic performance arts.


John Alfred Charles Bromfield FCIPS

(in a personal capacity)