This is an idea I’ve had rattling around in my head for a while and that I just haven’t gotten around to. I love movies, that’s a given, but almost as much, I love cinemas. The actual physical rooms we watch them in and in particular those, like dear departed favourite old aunts, that aren’t with us anymore.

I got upset when I saw that the Classic in Harold’s Cross had finally been demolished recently (scene of many a good Rocky Horror night), was there the last day the Adelphi was open (went to see Clueless if you must ask), cursed whoever closed the Carlton (even though Screen 1 there always smelled of wee).

So I very much like the idea of a place that people can post their stories and memories, good and bad, of Irish cinemas. A group blog dedicated to The Adelphi, The Carlton, The Classic, The Stella, The Lighthouse and the hundred other Irish cinemas that have disappeared over the decades as well as all those running today. Everything from individual memories of days there to “reviews” of what they were like, how great or crappy they were and are.

Anyone can sign up, post as often or as little as you like, comment on what you find interesting. I already have it set to go, I just need people to write for it. If there’s sufficient numbers to convince me this isn’t just another one of my pointless flights of fancy (and there have been many!) then I’ll have it up and running in the next week or so.

Want to write for it?

MAIL ME and I’ll sign you up.


20 thoughts on “Classic

  1. you know the lighthouse is coming back?
    it’s being built in smithfield at the moment, within the underground carpark of the new smithfield square development and it’s coming along nicely – all the steels for the levels are in but I’d obviously imagine it has a good way to go yet.

  2. Cool lads. Will need an e-mail addy from anyone who wants to be in!

    rick(feckoffspammersforever) 🙂

    2 of us already, yay!

    Lighthouse? Best. Cinema. Ever. You could buy a real mug of coffee before you went up the the cramped number 2 screen…


  3. I love the grandiose names of some of the now defunct cinemas. My favourite was the Grand Central Cinema in Tullow.
    The great thing about old cinemas is that they didn’t all show the same film. You might pick up the Ben Hur in Tullow, or the Love Bug in Bundoran.
    Why don’t they have usherettes coming into the cinemas with ice cream and sweets any more.
    How about the Green cinema on Stephen’s Green, The Odeon (where they always showed the Pink Panther movies) and the indescribably grand Regent Cinema, off O’Connell Street, where I saw Annie Hall.

  4. That would be the Cameo.

    It was always on just the wrong side of the street for me (literally). Always seemed a bit seedy in the late 80s/early 90s until it closed.

  5. God this brings me back to the old cinema in Lucan, beside the bridge. I went to see Grease there when I was a kid, I’ll never forget the excitement of it all!
    Anyone else remember it?

  6. See? Just the sort of discussion I’m hoping to get going. 4 of us on board so far, will get it up and running over the weekend.

  7. The cinema in ballinasloe (where i’m from ) is now Easons…I know there’s an Easons in Ballinasloe.

    When it was a cinema it was sort of upstairs above a flower/figurine shop. It had one film a month if we were lucky, but it worked for a long while.

    I remember my first EVER trip to the cinema was there, to see Snow White, with my mammy, I can even remember what i was wearing. Started a love affair with the silver screen about then.

  8. Last picture show at the Classic in Harold’s Cross
    Saturday, 23rd August, 2003

    One of Dublin’s last traditional suburban cinemas, the Classic in Harold’s Cross, is set to close at the end of next week.

    The decision was taken reluctantly by the cinema’s owner, Mr Albert Kelly, and was based entirely on health reasons.

    “My doctor told me I had to stop doing a seven-days-a-week job,” he told The Irish Times yesterday.

    “I like the film business too much to give it up for any other reason. The business is thriving.”

    The Classic and the nearby Stella in Rathmines are the last two-screen neighbourhood cinemas in the capital. The final week’s presentations at the Classic will be Veronica Guerin, the biggest hit of this year at Irish cinemas, and American Pie: The Wedding.

    However, the film chosen as the cinema’s last picture show next Friday night is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has broken all Irish cinema records by running at late-night shows in the Classic for the past 21 years.

    “It has had a great cult following,” Mr Kelly said. “It drew regular patrons from all walks of life – road sweepers, university students, petrol-pump attendants, professional people.”

    On learning the cinema is to close, Rocky Horror fans turned out in force last Friday and presented Mr Kelly with a plaque. He received a 10-minute standing ovation.

    The Classic is sticking to its “no booking” policy for its final night. Tickets for the final three shows will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

    Originally named the Kenilworth, the cinema first opened its doors in 1953. In 1976, its owners, Sundrive Cinemas, decided to close the cinema and their other property, the Classic in Terenure, where Mr Kelly was the manager.

    He bought the lease on the Kenilworth, took the Classic’s name with him, and opened his own cinema there in October 1976. Mr Kelly made a point of being present every evening to greet his customers.

    He had served his apprenticeship as a projectionist in the Grand Central cinema on O’Connell Street during the second World War. Its programming was composed mostly of unlikely reissues, but the cinema became renowned for its showmanship.

    When screening the nature documentary, Bring ‘Em Back Alive, the management exhibited a live caged monkey in the foyer. Intrigued by the gimmick, the public flocked to see the movie – until one evening when the monkey was electrocuted and went out of control, scaring the queue away.

  9. Whatever happended to the “This Sort of Thing” blog? Tried to access it recently only to discover to my absolute amazement that it had disappeared off the face of the earth. Seems a shame, given the amount of information and remisisences that had been posted there in just over a year…very strange.

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