Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Elegy For A Dead Cinema...

They tore down the old movie theatre where I used to go on Saturday with my friends.
Not every Saturday, but a lot of them if we had the money, which we always found a way to come up with.
It started off as a single screen, but was forced to split to two in the late seventies so it could show a sufficiently-diverse program of movies to stay in business.
It was the place where I saw many of the movies of my childhood and early teens - James Bond, Superman, The Three and Four Musketeers (on consecutive weeks - how about that for a cliffhanger?), Jaws (standing room only), Star Wars.
It was the first cinema I brought a date to.
It showed The Rocky Horror Picture Show every weekend for over twenty years.
It had style.
It had character.
It closed several years ago when the owner and manager, a man named Albert Kelly who lived in the neighbourhood, fell into poor health and, in time, passed away.

And now it's nothing but a hole in the ground.

I needed to catch a bus this evening into the city and the Classic (née Kenilworth) was the nearest bus stop for my intended route. I hadn't been near the place in several years and had no idea it was gone - last time I saw it, it was just closed.

So imagine my surprise and dismay at the sight of a vacant lot 'where late the (lighthouse stood)'...

There is, fortunately, a tribute site, showing The Classic in all its glory.

I was unsuccessful in contacting the owner, but I trust he will have few problems with my drawing attention to his work in immortalising an important landmark in Dublin's cinematic history.

The Classic (née Kenilworth) Cinema (1953-2007).

5 comments:

PJ said...

It reminds me of an old ABC cinema where I used to work, which has since been torn down to build flats.

It had been around since the 1930s and had a cool retro feel. It was a bit run-down, but that only added to its character.

Apart from me and a couple of other young-uns, all the other employees had worked there for 20+ years. I always feel a bit sad when I pass the building and think about what it used to be.

Captain Incredible said...

PJ - Yes, it's a shame all right.

And in the name of so-called progress...

The few remaining old-style cinemas in Dublin are part of a group that today finds stiff competition from the multiplexes.

Ironically, it was this group of cinemas that was partly responsible for the death of the independents in the seventies and eighties.

I still prefer one of those over the multis any day, though...

Lee said...

In Canberra (Australia) they closed one of their early cinemas to make way for a disco (or some sort of rythmic ritual institute - I don't know what the cool kids are calling them now days) and to celebrate they played in reverse order the first movies they showed so that the very first film was the very last film. I don't remember what the last one was but the film I got to go see was their 3rd last one 2001 A Space Odyssey which I got to experience on the big screen for the first time.

Captain Incredible said...

Yeah, takes you back, doesn't it? I don't remember the last movie I saw in the Classic, but it would have been good to have seen one more...

kieranmurray1000 said...

Hi Captain Incredible!

I am the owner/creator of the Classic Cinema tribute site.

The email problems have been sorted out and I can be contacted at: ccdublin@iol.ie

(NB Important - please make sure your subject line contains the following exactly "Classic Cinema Tribute Site" This is to prevent SPAM mail)

Thanks,

Kieran