screen. 2.600 seat centre on the site ofthe old Apollo Theatre in Glasgow. The second largest theatre-owning group in London‘s West End they now plan to move into the cinema housing business with a vengeance. opening a ten-screen centre in Slough this November and promising ( ilalsgow a ‘wide choice of quality filtns to suit all ages and tastes in a pleasant. comfortable and exciting fatnin environment .' The construction will cost {8.5 million and the doors are scheduled to open in I‘M). just in time for (ilasgow's moment in the spotlight as European (‘ity of Culture.

Not to be outdone. another company has submitted plans to the Edinburgh authorities to develop an eight-screen complex and piazza at a Leith Walk goods yard for the remarkably reasonable price tag of under one million pounds. The more traditional cinemas are also striving to remain competitive with the ()deon circuit showing the clearest presciencc in this endeavour: the ()deon Ayr has recently metamorphosed from a single screen into a triple and there are plans for similar further expansions to their major venues in (ilasgow arid Edinburgh. With all this activity plus the long-cherished promise of (il’l' 2 and the potential for further moves by Recorded Cinemas. successful resurrectors ofthe Edinburgh Cameo. ('entral Scotland is fast becoming a boom area for cinema prospectors.

Whether there is enough ofan audience to sustain all this enthusiasm and whether we might wind up with lots more screens playing exactly the same popular blockbusters remains to be seen. The commercial effect on smaller. independent screens is also open to question but. as one Edinburgh cinema manager says: ‘We‘re happy

Robert Dawson Scott considers why some sports are having a field day. . ‘Great Summer of Sport', the tabloids scream as if this year was any different from all the others. The programme doesn’t, after all, change all that much from year to year; the Test series, the Derby, Cowes Week, the Open and so on. Even if you are one of those for whom any kind of sporting activity is as enticing as a fortnight in Tirana, you will know that I am referring to cricket, horse-racing, sailing and golf. But not just any old cricket match or race meeting. Come Grand National day millions who would swear that simple bingo is the work of the devil will be in the twilight world of the betting shop determined to put whatever they have kept back from the housekeeping on

to face any competition. The more cinemas the better as far as audiences are concerned.‘


Eric Robinson. Director ofthe Scottish Arts Lobby. responds to Art Minister Richard Luce‘s recently unveiled plans for arts funding.

The Arts Minister. Richard Luce. has lost no time in setting out (iovernment guidelines for arts funding for the next five years.

Within weeks of the Election and days of his own reappointment. in a speech to the (‘ouncil of English Regional Arts Associations at Newcastle on 8 July. he spelled out firmly. and provocatively. substantial changes to the way Government money will be spent on the arts. The speech was leaked to assure maximum attention and attracted understandable and expected consternation from the arts world. Surprise and shock were somewhat manufactured the proposals are a logical development of(‘onservative policies ‘to reduce the role of the state and expand the scope of private initiatives . . .‘ Anyone who has read the Adam Smith Institute Iz'xpotouling the A rts published during the election campaign. and knows the role of that organisation as a trailer for Tory policy. will recognise echoes of its calls for privatisation of the arts in [.uce's ‘aim to ensure that public expenditure takes a steadily smaller share of national income‘ and his beliefthat ‘there is no argument. . .that the artsare sacrosanct and should be insulated from the real world.’

Luce uses the argument that ‘The (ieneral Election provided precious

some nag called Coquilles St Jacques because they once eat some on their honeymoon in Boulogne. Thousands more who couldn't tell a cox from a stroke and think Oxbridge is something

you walk over are riveted to the BoatRace.

Some sporting occasions seem to be just that bit sexier than all the others. Why else are people who have never played tennis in their lives able to tell you the colour of Pat Cash's name tags during the Wimbledon fortnight? (Why was it that I was offered £600 for a pair of centre court tickets? Perhaps more to the point why did I turn it down?) It can be just a question of hype. The Americas Cup, for example, only involves two boats in the end and for my money something like the Fastnet Race, which involves several days at

sea in some of the most dangerous seaways in the world represents a far greater challenge to boats and crew. Often, though, the events which loom large in the mind of the general public are the ones that the participants also see as ‘The Big One‘, the one that everyone wants to win.

It‘s very hard on the equally

little evidence . . .that increased public expenditure on the arts has become a higherpriority . . . in the minds of the electorate.‘ No public interest in the arts during the Election? For the first time all the Parties published substantial policy documents on the arts: all the major national and provincial media covered arts policies as part of surveys of Party policies or as a special issue. The Scottish Arts Lobby published its own Arts Manifesto. held Rallies in (ilasgow and Edinburgh and circulated SIHIIIII petition leaflets ‘l Vote For the Arts’.

Luce calls his new approach ‘a strategy of incentives‘ based on the success of the Business Sponsorship Incentive Scheme in generating new money. but there is a fundamental difference. l’ast schemes have been based on encouraging the private sector to support the arts; encouraging better marketing; encouraging the taxpayer to contribute (though in a scheme so monumentally complex that seminars are being held for those who administer the Payroll Scheme). The keynote to date has been nudging to top up arts funding. That cart properly be called ‘incentive funding'. .\'ow the requirement will be on arts bodies to prove themselves able to attract private funds which will then be matched by public funds a system of(‘hallenge Funding. The plans are not set out in detail. they are ‘a job for a whole Parliament' and Luce promises to work out ‘the best way ofgiving effect. . . as time goeson'. but there is no doubt as to the basic intention.

At a risk of being one of those Luce accuses of ‘welfare state mentality" I say the new approach must give cause for concern. especially in the Scottish context (did Luce include Scotland in his speech to the English Regions?)

gut-busting cardiac-arresting body- mind- and spirit-destroying sports which don’t find their place in the limelight. You rarely hear about about a judo competition or a canoeing championship. When it all comes together, however, the media, the money, and the myth, you get something which goes far beyond a mere sporting contest. This is epic theatre; the contestants are super human creatures of fantasy, locked in desperate elemental combat against not just each other’s skill and fitness but against themselves, against dark tears they scarcely know they have, drawing deeply on reserves of strength and determination beyond imagining. It might be the Superbowl. It might be the Cup Final. This weekend, and for the last three weeks, it has been the Tour de France.

Nobody needs to be told that the tour is a cycle race even though this awe-inspiring sport has been shamefully ignored in Britain until very recently. But to say that the Tour de France is a bike ride is like saying that Michelangelo was a painter and

1. (‘hallenge funding will help make the successful more successful and that generally means the large and metropolitan. 2. (iiven commitment to present levels of overall funding and having to ‘redistribute resources from within existing areas of Government subsidy“ inevitably less money will be available for other strategies for rural. experimental. educational arts work and those are sectors of particular importance in Scotland. 3. Whilst there is a nod in the direction of the arts contribution ‘to the regeneration of our cities‘ with (ilasgow mentioned specifically. nothing is offered in the way of incentive to local authorities. many of which in Scotland are prevented from doing more for the arts by (iovernment controls. 4. The administration ofC‘hallenge Funding is not spelled out (indeed it probably has not been worked out). but it suggests another development in the (iovernment intervention and a lessening in the already compromised independence of the Arts (‘ouncil It makes more urgent than ever Salvo's call for independence for the Scottish Arts (‘ouncil

Luce appeals for new ideas. for an end to entrenched attitudes. for a partnership in persuading public and politicians that the arts are worthy of their support. He would do well. if he hopes for support. to recognise the enormous achievements of the arts: the sacrifices they have had to make in developing their services to the public and to take note of the sombre announcement by the Scottish Arts (‘ouncil on 14 July that all its funds are spent until April 1988 with what legitimate hopes betrayed. artists and communities frustrated and disappointed. [)onkeys can only go on chasing carrots if they are well enough fed to stay on their feet.

decorator. It is first a grand spectacle as you may see for yourself when the first professional stage tour of Britain starts from Edinburgh on August 12 and as the 30 million, —yes, million spectators who line the roads of France will testify. But it is the demands made on the riders which I find so spell-binding. They cover 2,500 miles at an average overall speed of more than 25 miles per hour. They climb mountains up to 7,500 feet up in the Alps, the equivalent of three times up Everest all told, on gradients as sleep as 1 in 6 (and descend down the other side at over 60mph which must take some nerve), they battle against the heat of France's interior, and through the winds of the Atlantic seaboard and they do it every day for three weeks. There is no respite. Between 30 and 40% of those who start the race will not finish. More than one has died trying. It is, quite simply, the longest, hardest, toughest and most demanding sporting event in the world. Whoever is wearing the winner’s yellow jersey when the race finishes in Paris this Sunday deserves a bit of respect.

The List 24 July (7 August 3