The Old Cinemas go for a Pint


All the old Cork City cinemas get together now and again, for a few jars in a quiet pub, and to reminisce about the good old days. Capital is in great form tonight – they’re making a retail centre where he lay derelict for years, and he’s proud of that.

Capital – Come here lads, what was the best fillum ye ever showed? I can go back to the forties, but still, I think for me it was Jaws  in ’75. That was a great show, a big breakthrough for Spielberg, and I had queues all the way ‘round to Oliver Plunkett Street. The screeching of the girls when that shark came out of the water, you never heard the like of it. And the John Williams music when it was going to attack. Dadum, dadum, dadum. Great show. What about you, Savoy?

Savoy – Oh well of course, I can go back even further. For me it must have been the Charlie Chaplin fillums. The laughing! And everybody went home with a smile on their face. Those were the days – innocent I suppose, but there was no violence nor nothing like that. And Laurel and Hardy too. Remember Laurel and Hardy? All the children laughing away to their hearts’ content – and the adults too. Great shows. And then of course we had big days in the early film festivals, very glamorous altogether. What about you, Pavillion?

Pavillion ­– I think the ‘70s was the golden age of the American movie. The one that made the most impact on me was Apocalypse Now. ‘The horror, the horror.’ I’ll always remember Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen all painted up in that jungle, and I was in that jungle with them, d’je know what I mean? Tough going now, like, but that was a terrible war too. Great show. What about you, Kino, something arty I suppose?

Kino – Difficult to say, really. Of course Tarkovsky was seminal, but I’ll have to go with the Italian maestros. Bertolucci, Rossellini, Visconti, De Sica, Scola, Fellini – all masters of the art. If I had to pick one. . . I’d probably go for La Dolce Vita. Superb. What about you, Lee?

Lee – Funnily enough I’m going to pick an Italian fillum too, mainly for the closing scene and the music. Cinema Paradiso, with music by the great Ennio Morricone, still going strong – that scene at the end, when they show all the kisses cut out of all the reels over the years; unbelievable, that was. Great show. What about the older lads: Coliseum and Assembs?

Capital – They can’t hear you, Lee.


Assembs – What? Oh the cowboys for sure. Roy Rodgers and Hopalong Cassidy. They knew how to make fillums those days, boy. None of your modern rubbish with all that sex and violence. You had the bad guys and the good guys, and the good guy always won. Isn’t that right, Coliseum?

Capital – He can’t hear you. What about you, Cameo?

Cameo – Oh the erotic, Capital, you can’t beat the erotic, boy. The French ones, especially, you might say they have a penchant for it.

Capital – Tut, tut. Palace?

Palace – I liked the thrillers of the 80s I must day, lads. Die Hard, Rambo, Lethal Weapon, The Big Easy, Blue Velvet. Some great shows altogether, and great crowds too. What about you, Ritz?

Ritz – You know I don’t have one particular fillum, but lads, didn’t we bring some pleasure to generations of Cork people, all the same? Before videos, or DVD, or streaming or any of that stuff. We were where it all happened – the glamour, the imagination, the dreams. We were the business. Fond memories, lads. Decades of children, all the Disney cartoons. All the young courting couples kissing, and the married couples too. All the boys watching the westerns and thrillers and detectives. All the girls gawking at the glamour and swooning over the handsome Hollywood heroes. Great days, lads. Great days.

All – Great days.