“Movie Memories” is a Creative Ireland/ UCC funded project that records cinema-going memories of those living in small towns, villages and rural areas of Cork County from the 1940s to the present.

Participants from all parts of rural Cork, from Bantry to Youghal and from Coachford to Clonakilty, have answered the call to share their memories and so far we’ve had stories of village halls transformed into picture palaces; evenings of entertainments in the travelling Cinemobile; school excursions to “holy pictures”; fighting off fleas and amorous suitors in the dark; and falling under the spell of movie stars, from Hopalong Cassidy to Johnny Depp.

These interviews will form the basis of a short documentary that will be premiered at the Fastnet Film Festival in Schull in May 2018 and then screened in various locations across the county.

We’re also developing a web archive where you can check out podcasts of interviewees; browse old pictures and footage of some of the villages we’ve visited; enjoy written contributions by film fans across the generations; and sample selections from historical archives.

“Movie Memories” seeks to preserve and celebrate the important contribution made by rural cinemas to community life and community spirit; the diverse experiences of moviegoers from all ages; and the shifts in patterns of distribution, exhibition and reception over the generations. It also seeks to involve communities and to bring to light the innovative efforts made to rejuvenate film culture, and the arts more generally, in rural areas.

Get involved! Please share your memories with us by emailing: moviememories.cork@gmail.com

Project Leaders: Gwenda Young, Dan O’Connell, Film and Screen Media, University College Cork.

Autograph of John Huston
during the filming of Moby Dick (1956).
(courtesy of John McGrath, Youghal.)