Letter: Stratford was blitzed by urban planners

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I am afraid Lilian Pizzichini is wrong on two counts ("Cinema Paradiso - in east London", 5 October). For much of this century, up to the early 1960s, Stratford had three cinemas - the Rex, Gaumont, and Century - all later put to other uses: bingo hall, gym and entertainment centre, among others.

While the Luftwaffe did devastate this part of London, the main reason the Theatre Royal was left in splendid isolation was the activity of 1960s planners who ripped the heart out of old Stratford to build the (ugly) shopping precinct.

I look forward to visitingagain to experience this sensation of "optimism triumphing over dreary town planning".

V A McLaren