Today is two years since the Theatre Royal, Barry Cinema, closed its doors.
Barry used to have five cinemas, now there are none – with the Theatre Royal still standing on the corner of Broad Street and Gladstone Road, maintained by the Save Our Cinema Association (SOCA) who are fighting to re-open.
For many people, not having a cinema is a practical issue about a form of entertainment - taking a family of four to the cinema in Cardiff can cost upwards of £40.
But the loss of the cinema is something which still touches many people in Barry because of its iconic nature.
It is a clear example of Barry lacking in a facility which most people take for granted and which people think should be open here.
Fighting for facilities, especially arts and cultural facilities across the Vale, is an important part of my campaign this year. Barry needs a cinema, an arts space, somewhere that people can create and contribute, and I passionately believe that the community is enriched by people participating and generating ideas and interaction.
Back before it was trendy to do so, I started a Facebook group about the cinema, which had nearly 2,000 members within a fortnight.
Unfortunately, that was when we realised that the power of Facebook isn’t the same as a man determined to close something down.
SOCA and other groups looking to improve the cultural life of Barry and the Vale have my full support, and I hope it won’t be long before we can have the cinema back.
In the meantime, there is an exhibition at Victoria Park about the history of the Theatre Royal, open until next Saturday, 17th April.