The Celluloid Shamrock: Vintage Irish Films

Throughout the 20th century, Irish people have always been huge fans of the cinema. Despite being one of the poorest countries in Europe, Irish cinema attendance was and still is amongst the highest in the world. Ever since James Joyce opened Ireland’s first cinema (The Volta) on Mary Street in 1909, our nation has been diagnosed with an unquenchable thirst for everything film, and has since seen dozens of world famous actors, producers, directors, and cinematographers come from the emerald isle.

Many people today associate vintage films made or set in Ireland to be along the lines of John Ford’s, The Quiet Man (1952), or Disney’s, Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959), but in fact, the depiction of Irish people in film stretches way back to the end of the 19th century.

The Star of Erin Theatre of Varieties (now the Olympia Theatre) showed the first publicly exhibited films in Ireland on April 20th, 1896, and had depicted grainy scenes of “People walking in Sackville Street, Traffic on Carlisle Bridge and the 13th Hussars Marching through the City”.

For this blog, I will be writing reviews of vintage films that were either made or set in Ireland, starting with J.P McGowan’s A Lad From Old Ireland (1910), right up until the first half of the 20th century.

Interested? If so, stay on the lookout for my reviews and drop us a comment below and tell me what you think. PEACE!

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