Gable Ender - Putting Montrose in the picture for entertainment

How things change. Back in 1949 there was an attempt to allow what was then the King’s cinema in Montrose to open on Sundays.

By
Forbes Inglis
Saturday, 18th June 2022, 12:00pm
Gable Ender - Putting Montrose in the picture for entertainment

A meeting before local magistrates to hear the application attracted numerous members of the public, mostly those against the idea. Many of the local ministers were present, along with members of local religious organisations.

First to speak was Mr Lewis McIntosh, manager of the King’s. His argument was simple – the Locarno Ballroom already had Sunday opening and the Playhouse Cinema in John Street occasionally provided entertainment and both appeared to do good business. Not only that, but there were "large numbers of young people loitering about the streets of Montrose on Sunday nights”.

Mr R Ralston, the cinema chain’s Scottish representative, pointed out that other towns had granted Sunday opening without the situation being abused and in Montrose there was already Sunday golf and bowling

On behalf of the objectors, Mr D Campbell of the local Youth Panel suggested that with six day opening local citizens already had ample opportunity to go to the cinema. With no control over what was shown, the programme might consist of films unsuitable for showing on the ‘Scottish Sabbath’. His final point, a view I have always found difficult to see the force of, was that there was no public demand. If that was true then the venture would surely wither and die through lack of custom.

His arguments were backed by the Rev. W Scott of Ferryden UF Church, speaking on behalf of the Lord’s Day Observance Society, who spoke of how the Scottish Sunday, “renowned all over the world”, was under attack from the Continental Sunday.

The final speaker was Rev F Kennedy of the Parish Church who argued that it would be detrimental to family life. He was also of the opinion that the Scottish Sunday, which had been effectively discarded in England, should be protected.

Summing up, Mr McIntosh said around 500 local people left the town each Sunday by bus, cars and taxis to go to other Angus towns for entertainment. The magistrates left but returned to announce that they had unanimously rejected the application.​​​​​​​

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