‘Cinemas must play part in keeping lid on volume’

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Going to the cinema to see the latest family blockbuster might seem like a fairly safe way to spend an afternoon.

But the noise levels at multiplex screenings are proving to be a health and safety concern for Evening News readers, with one worried parent describing “a wall of sound” that left his ears ringing and his daughter in tears.

It might be tempting to dismiss this as a case of over-protective mothers and father making a fuss over their precious offspring, but this is no laughing matter.

Doctors have raised concerns that the volume is so high in some cinemas it could be damaging children’s hearing.

This can be a particular problem with the advertisements that precede the main screening, which are broadcast more loudly.

But even when the volume is well enough controlled to avoid that risk it can still be an issue.

Family blockbusters – even including the new Pixar movie Brave – can be frightening at times for younger viewers, even without throwing in the shock factor of almighty bangs and crashes.

Of course, parents have to think carefully about the films they take their children to see, but our cinemas can also play a part by keeping careful control of the volume button.

Consider car ban

Students moving into a planned new residence in the Capital should be banned from owning cars, say worried local residents.

A proposed 234-apartment house block in Dalry’s Orwell Terrace would be leased by Edinburgh Napier University, which will undoubtedly place greater strain on local facilities.

While some will be outraged, is it unreasonable for some new city developments to have stricter conditions placed on them? Parking in many areas of the city is at a premium, so why should existing residents find themselves disadvantaged?

Of course, the university has said students would be encouraged to use public transport, and good bus links are available.

But a car ban, via the tenancy agreement, would be transparent and those students who still want a vehicle can choose to live elsewhere.

While there are obvious questions about how this would be enforced, considering new solutions to ensure all residents retain a good quality of life will become more important as new developments are proposed in congested areas of the city. We shouldn’t dismiss these ideas out of hand.