Material culture: The cinema. Matthew Keating 112411268

Matthew Keating 112411268

In this blog entry I will look at the role of the cinema in material culture and how the cinema has developed in time through a the process of modernity.

The cinema was a revelation in its time. The ability to capture scenes onto a film through a camera and display them to large audiences allowed for people to see the world from their home towns.


The Savoy Cork (Keating, November 2015)

The savoy as photographed above has been transformed to suit the new modern life of cork city. Recently renovated it is home to one of Corks top nightclubs as well as many popular shops. However in 1920 this was a much different place. A restaurant with a big reputation in cork, The Savoy was the place to be. Home to the wealthiest and best dressed, it even had its own little orchestra to play music for patrons as they ate.

The Savoy opened as an entertainment centre in 1932 and had been developed to be able to show movies and hold concerts. This grand arena became a second home to the people of cork as they gathered to watch films together.

It was however The Coliseum which was the first purpose built cinema in Cork. Unlike The Savoy, which showed lo-key films, The Coliseum which opened in 1913, was home to the newest movie releases. The theatres were plush and people came in their droves to watch films together. Cinemas became a place of visual consumption where one person could share their ideas with the world, through a screen.


The Coliseum, not known as the Leisureplex (Keating, November 2015)

Other cinemas which emerged in Cork included the Lido cinema in Blackpool, the Everyman Palace which occasionally screened films and the Capitol cinema at the top of Washington Street along the Grand Parade.

The idea of the cinema was a modern one and is evident in our time. The Gate Multiplex on North Main Street, The Reel Cinema Blackpool, The Omniplex Mahon Point and Cineplex Douglas are all modern cinemas with the latest digital and 3D technology. They continue to be a social hub for young and old, and have developed their own elements of modernity, by locating near shopping centres, coffee shops and restaurants alike. The Capitol Cinema is also soon to be renovated and transformed into a shopping centre.


Entrance to Omniplex Cinema, Mahon Point Shopping Centre                                (Keating, November 2015)



The Reel Cinema, Blackpool Retail Park (Keating, November 2015)




The Lido Cinema, Watercourse Road Blackpool (Keating, November 2015)


Cineplex, Douglas (Keating, November 2015)


The Capitol Cinema, Cork City (Keating, November 2015)



All images are my own.


McSweeney, John. 2003. The Golden Age of Cork Cinemas. Cork: Rose Arch Publications.



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