IT has been saddening to read about the closure of cinemas because of the coronavirus. However, perhaps the hiatus (if such it turns out, as we hope, to be), will give the big chains the opportunity to rethink their operations and realign the cultural experience to make it more amenable to decent ratepayers and not just the target audience of neds.

Arguably, the actor Robert Powell went too far this week in saying the chains didn’t deserve to survive because upright citizens, “have to sit next to someone eating cheesy nachos”. The culinary observation is valid, though it has been pilloried online by campaigners for ned rights.

One of Powell’s critics said: “I didnt [sic] go to [sic] often but it’s a differnt [sic] experience to sitting in the front room.” That is a good point, well made, particularly about not going too often. But surely one’s front room isn’t full of neds in light grey athletic trousers munching curd-infused Mexican chips as they text and chunter their way through the film.

As intimated exclusively above, the chains should rethink their operations rather than be forced to close.

First, there should be some sort of dress code. Dinner jackets would be preposterous, but a proper suit and tie, with pretty frocks for the ladies, shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Having to be decently turned out would doubtless deter those with phrenologically fascinating foreheads and, even in the unlikely event that they did attend, might ameliorate their inclination to behave like chimps.

The task of doorman should not be allocated to the usual security firms and their untrustworthy trolls. Instead, the role should be allotted to captains of industry, university professors and leading civil servants, people who could be trusted to operate the policy properly.

As to pricing, I’ve given this matter many seconds of thought and am consequently unsure what to advise. At first, though latterly unable to afford the cinema myself, I thought hefty price rises would be a valuable tool in returning decency and standards to the cinema experience.

But then I recalled football supporters, the vast majority of whom are neds, arguing recently that £15 was too cheap to watch one low-grade Scottish football game on television in the Time of Covid.

Indeed, it’s possible or indeed likely that the average ned earns far more than I do, and that price would be no object to them and perhaps a cinema ticket a status symbol like their Burberry cravats.

That said, when I lived in the city, I could only afford those dirt-cheap gyms which were choc-full of neds, with whom I often ended up in altercations, sometimes because they’d left cheesy nachos on the equipment.

It occurs to me that the cinemas’ cheesy nachos problem might be solved by closing these appallingly over-priced shops on the premises. Many establishments latterly were more like multiplex sweetie shops with cinemas attached rather than vice-versa.

At the production end of things, perhaps the big studios could return to making decent, wholesome films that aren’t full of woke homework. The heyday of cinema occurred in Britain in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when films had simple plots and gormless heroes trying to behave decently while pressed on either side by vested interests with low moral standards (basically my autobiography).

Perhaps the movie moguls could watch some of these in the interregnum and, with the help of leading academics in university classics departments, reorientate their scripts accordingly.

Well, these are just some of my ideas. I hope that, with them, I have given you some cheesy nachos for thought.

Taking notes

I HAVE been appalled at the snobbery of newspaper articles frequently pointing out that the late, great rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen couldn’t read music.

Why they are picking on him, as hardly anyone in rock can read music, is a mystery. Perhaps it’s because he was sometimes called “the Mozart of rock”, though I don’t remember Wolfgang Amadeus having lines of coke on his amp.

Never having indulged in that stuff, I’m not sure what it does to a chap’s heid but, presumably, it’s the usual: gives the illusion that life is worth living. And Eddie’s guitar-playing sure gave us intimations of the same.

Who the hell reads music nowadays anyway? Such a lot of nonsense. It’s for people who can’t learn whole songs but have to work from prepared crib sheets. It’s for snobs who would make you wear dinner jackets to the cinema.

Crotchets and minims, my arse. It’s like grammar. Perfect progressive tense: what the hell is that about? Shove it. Just get wordies writ doon, inspired by the muses. As for the guitar, rock on in heaven, Eddie, with no stupid music stands to get in your way as you leap across the celestial stage.

Five things we’ve learned this week

Hypnosis can cure you of eating sausages. One Swansea teenager ate nothing else, so his Maw took him to a hypnotherapist, and now the boy has been experimenting with other food. It’s powerful voodoo, yon subconscious-tweaking palaver.

Folk are eating more chocolate and sweeties with one hand, while giving two fingers to health experts with the other. Though “Britain” was fingered in reports, the findings only applied to England, which famously has a problem with unhealthy eating.

Veteran eco-warrior Swampy has returned to his natural habit – up a tree. The crusty campaigner is trying to save ancient woodland in Ayelsbury from the HS2 rail line. His wee boy’s with him tae noo. It’s like a family business.

Five per cent of British people have had items in their freezers for five years, say insurers Prominence Support. One person adduced “an unknown disgusting-looking stew I will never eat”. Properly defrosted, it’ll surely be appreciated by the nearest unfussy dog.

Deep-voiced men are more successful with women, according to Chinese researchers. Never worked when I tried it. Still, at least being thumped on the back to clear the resultant coughing fit could be counted as some form of physical intimacy.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.