Let's get something straight: nothing can compete with cinema, and nothing ever will. Audience numbers and box-office takings will always fluctuate. But suggesting that downloading can ever provide an alternative to cinema is like saying that fast-food chains will kill off restaurants. The experiences are not comparable. It may take people a while to realise that – they may dip a toe in the studios' on-demand scheme – but they will soon come to miss the largeness, the inclusivity and the sense of occasion that comes from going to the cinema. When you watch a film on a television or a laptop or, God forbid, an iPod, you haven't seen it as it was intended. Sometimes it's the only option available, especially with old or obscure movies now that the repertory scene is in permanent decline and the double bill has all but died out.