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‘Brightening the dreary existence of the Irish peasant’: Cinema transforms leisure in provincial Ireland
Condon, Denis
Examination of the institutionalization of cinema in Sligo, Ireland, demonstrates the uniqueness of local conditions that led to cinema’s second birth. When the Sligo Picture Theatre opened in late 1911, it was one of the first dedicated film venues in Ireland outside the major cities; but it already had to compete against a rival film show run by the Catholic Church. While the Picture Theatre was an expansion of the commercial interests of a family in the photographic trade, the church’s initial interest in cinema arose from its temperance organization’s need to have evening activities for teetotallers. As labour militancy increased with the introduction of trade unions to Sligo at precisely the same time as cinema, the church and business owners of the town saw the value of cinema in distracting the working class from socialist ideas and effective organization in their own interests. As a result, cinema’s institutionalization in Sligo was largely determined by the priorities of existing institutions.
Keyword(s): second birth of cinema; early cinema; intermediality; cinema institution; cinema building boom; cinema history and film history; Irish on film; peasants on film; Kalem; population of Ireland; Sligo; Ireland; temperance; Irish Catholic Church; working-class leisure; nationalism; trade unionism
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Condon, Denis (2013) ‘Brightening the dreary existence of the Irish peasant’: Cinema transforms leisure in provincial Ireland. Early Popular Visual Culture, 11 (2). pp. 126-139. ISSN 1746-0654
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2016-11-18 05:28:11 Last Updated: 2016-11-18 05:28:11