Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Condon, Denis
Pictures in Abeyance: Irish Cinema and the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising
1916, Cinema and Revolution
NUI Galway
Keynote Address
Optional Fields
Cinema has been too little considered in relation to the Easter Rising of 1916, despite the fact that it was an important part of Dublin streetscape and mediascape in which the Rising largely took place. Picture houses – as the dedicated film-exhibition venues were most often called – were coming to be the dominant choice for those seeking popular entertainment and were far more numerous, were accessible to a larger segment of the population, were more geographically widespread and had collectively many more seats than Dublin’s theatres. Given the fact that no dedicated film venue had existed ten years previously, this was a remarkable development, and it followed a boom in picture-house construction in Ireland between 1910 and the beginning of World War I. Cinema in Dublin in 1916 was a highly developed entertainment business and widely accessible cultural medium. In the immediate aftermath of the Rising, picture houses were the first to offer Dubliners a place in the city and suburbs to meet acquaintances and discuss the momentous events. As well as providing escapist entertainment, picture houses also screened images – coded in the language of the medium and presented with locally inflected musical accompaniment – addressing directly relevant events. These were among the reasons why cinema came more fully to dominate the cultural life of the city in the following years.