NEVER mind the pub, it’s the opening of cinemas that I’m waiting for. When am I going to get back to see a film at the Filmhouse or the GFT, the Macrobert in Stirling, or the Hippodrome in Bo’ness? 
At least I should be able to go to the local Cineworld for a socially distanced visit next month. And I might even get to visit a gallery soon. But a trip to the theatre or a catching a gig? I’m not holding my breath.
While other sectors such as pubs and restaurants are beginning to gingerly imagine a return to some kind of business, live entertainment, from comedy and music to theatre, remains, understandably, in a state of limbo.
There is no quick fix for the impact of the pandemic on this sector. Still, the news on Friday that Perth Theatre and Concert Hall was entering redundancy talks with its 120 staff is another harsh reminder of just how damaging it has been in this sector. 
First to shut, last to reopen, it’s been said. If they reopen at all. It’s thought that 70 per cent of theatres might not survive past Christmas.
But do we care? On Thursday David Tennant and Dame Judi Dench appeared on the BBC’s Coronavirus Newscast to speak up for theatre and make the case for government support. At some point in the proceedings Laura Kuenssberg asked the question that always gets asked at such times: Why should theatre get support anyway? Shouldn’t money be spent on what the country really needs? 
Neither Tennant nor Dench asked her what that might be, but it’s one of those questions you can’t imagine her asking a representative of, say, the fishing industry or the car industry, or a publican for that matter, even though the entertainment industry, as a whole, outstrips all three of those sectors in terms of economic value.
We have this perverse attitude to the arts in this country, don’t we? If a British actor wins an Oscar, or Ed Sheeran or Adele gets to number one in the US, it’s headline news. And yet we sneer at actors and musicians when they dare to express their opinions. (OK,  I know, Laurence Fox … But you take my general point.)
Yet what are we but our culture? When we talk about soft power, let’s face it, we’re talking about James Bond, Robert Burns, the Beatles and Shakespeare. Along with royalty, whisky and football, it’s what attracts tourists (remember them?) to the UK. And, when it comes Scotland, I suspect JK Rowling has probably more pull than Raith Rovers.
The truth is our live theatre and music scenes are undeniably good things. The entertainment industry offers both economic worth and cultural worth. And yet it seems to have to argue its case every time.
But imagine a world without the Tolbooth in Stirling, say, or Perth Theatre? Actually, you don’t need to. It’s the world we’ve been living in for the last three months. Rubbish, isn’t it?