The Last Picture Show



The Screen Cinema (formerly The Metropole), Hawkins Street/Townsend Street, Dublin 2

Lord Fiddlebottom writes:

The Screen Cinema [known for showing decent independent and world cinema movies since 1984] is closing. They seem to only have two weeks left. Staff have been put on protective notice. They are moving the booked shows to the Savoy. This has been a long time coming and some of the staff think it’s to do with the regeneration of the area. There are no plans to ever reopen the screen. If a cinema opens up on this site again it’s going to be a multiplex…

Previously: IMC Clearly Now

59 thoughts on “The Last Picture Show

  1. dylad

    That’s a shame saw loads of great films there back in the day. Little statue guy – hope is is kept safe!

  2. Jade

    I’m sorry I didn’t visit more often. I hope they move Vincent Brownes sculpture somewhere appropriate and still public.

  3. Vote Rep #1

    Sad news but not really too surprising. I used to always go to it but I can’t really remember the last time I went.

  4. Eoin

    It is a shame. But they missed their niche. Should have been running regular cult, arthouse movie clubs and the like. That’s how the IFC and Lighthouse are surviving.

  5. DubLoony

    Ah no! They were big supporters of the Dublin film Festival and tried to be a mix of lesser fims as well as the big hits.
    Very sad.

  6. Condescending Nana

    sad day. having said that the outside is a kip, rich fauna of drunken derelicts sitting right outside giving you attitude every time you walk past them and the cop shop right across the road.

    1. All the good ones fly south for winter

      [r]ich fauna of drunken derelicts sitting right outside giving you attitude every time…

      Yes they should probably move the department of health staff out of there too.

    2. Neilo

      Regeneration/gentrification of this area – and it was 25 years ago that I remember such talk starting – could only be helped with a cinema. No doubt, the sociological hinterland – to be polite – hasn’t helped!

  7. Spaghetti Hoop

    Ah no. Was only there last week for Suffragette and was sad to see it so friggin empty. Why don’t they just cut the ticket price by €2 or something. It’s an excellent little cinema and maybe just needs some clever marketing.

    1. dav

      Developes and bankers won’t allow it. They want it to wither on the vine, so they can move in and build their over priced, unfireproofed boxes to over borrowed citizens.

    2. Eoin

      They used to do that but when IMC took over the raised the prices. And since the facilities weren’t that great it really didn’t make sense to go there. Think the last time I went was late last year, and I used to go regularly. Sad to see it go, after 15 years of irregular attendance.

  8. Fuzzy Dunlop

    This makes me sad and depressed, loved going to the Screen cinema. It was my default cinema for independent films but its closing felt inevitable having watched a couple films there recently in empty screens.
    I hope the staff are looked after properly.

  9. donal

    If regeneration includes the entire block (Hawkins House and Apollo House especially) that can only be a good thing, There are plenty of cinemas in the city, and with IFC and Lighthouse competing for the non mainstream cinema going public it’s not like there’ll be nowhere to see arty flicks. Place was rundown, clearly didn’t do good busines, I won’t be getting nostalgic for it. A new 3/4 screen cinema of lighthouse size in redeveloped block would of course be welcome

    1. Christopher

      Yes! I see this as good news in that it might mean the wrecking balls start coming in sooner rather than later- that whole area is a mess and the buildings you listed would be top of my list to be forgotten.

  10. Joe835

    Sad to see one of only two cinemas in the south city centre close, although if the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre cinema plan ever actually goes ahead, it would have faced even more competition.

    It’s a nice cinema and was refurbished to a good standard relatively-recently, so they couldn’t be accused of sitting on their hands, waiting for the axe to fall. But there’s clearly a space for big films to be shown at irregular times in the city centre and this cinema just doesn’t get it, instead choosing to show blockbusters guaranteed to keep a cinema in business like “He Named Me Malala”, “Thoongaavanam” and “Vedalam”.

    Say you want to see Spectre after work in Dublin today; you can go to Cineworld at 6pm, 6.45, 7.15 or 7.50pm or the Savoy at 6pm, 7pm or 8pm. So that’s the two big cinemas showing the biggest film currently on release, with the larger cinema showing it every 30-45 mins and the other showing it on the hour, no more than 10-15 mins of the larger cinema’s times. And it’s worth their while, apparently.

    Wouldn’t it be an ideal opportunity for the Screen/IMC cinema to then show it at, I dunno, 6.30pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm? Instead, they show it at……actually, they don’t show it at all. Well done lads.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Come Here to Me described the Screen today as “known for showing decent independent and world cinema movies since 1984”, which I think is an exaggeration as I only remember it showing mainstream movies. If it had gone down the arty indie route it could have survived. Or do we just have too many cinemas in Dublin?

      Flashback: was there a cinema once on Pearse Street that showed great cult classics like Easy Rider and encouraged BYO alcohol and narcotics or am I dreaming this?

  11. Ms Piggy

    Used to go there a lot when I was a student but haven’t been for years now – which seems a common story here so it’s no mystery why they’re closing. And to be honest, although I have fond memories of seeing movies there, it’s a hideously ugly building for which they knocked down one of the most beautiful theatres in the city, back in the 60s or 70s. So there’s a certain karma to them being knocked for another replacement building. Having said which, I also hope the staff are treated decently, that’s more important than any architecture.

  12. turgidson

    I once sat in the same row a few seats away from Tom Hardy in Screen 1 during the showing of Bronson at the Dublin film festival in 2009. He wasn’t as famous then I suppose.

    Here’s a shot of the Q&A afterwards.

    That’s my claim to fame.

      1. tony

        I’ll tell you. But first – what is the capital of France, name a decent restaurant in Longford and what time is it?

  13. Mr. T.

    I’ll really miss this unfussy unmegaplex cinema. I go there regularly and really like it. There’s no scumbags, no chattering idiots on their phones, no big outcry when you have to run down to the lobby to tell them the sound isn’t on or the wrong film is playing. I liked all that. People are way too demanding and impatient these days as if they deserve it. Sometimes it’s good to enjoy a place for being a bit more human, a bit imperfect.

    The rest are palaces of pleb dazzle.

  14. Demon

    Oh no! I’ll miss the Screen – the only cinema in Dublin that wasn’t catering for people so deaf that they could only hear the films if they’re broadcast at MUTIDECIBEL LEVEL. Nice, calm, quiet, decent place.

    And what about Vincent Browne’s bronze sculpture of the sadistically grinning usher outside?

  15. Horselover Bat

    My French teacher brought our whole 4th year class there to see Le Haine even though we were all under 18. She was cool. Shame the place is going.


    The missus brought me to Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind in the Screen on our first date…

  17. SnD

    Terrible news, was only there last night and it’s in great condition inside. Will always remember watching Good Night and Good Luck there with Shane McGowan a few rows in front of us drinking cans.

  18. Father Filth

    Mid 90s, The Irish Times would have their Saturday morning screening freebies there sometimes..

    I met Sir Ian McKellen in the foyer after a screening of Richard III, got him to sign a review of the film and just said, without putting much thought in what I was about to say, ‘Nice uniform m8’..

    He looked at me like I’d shat in his Pimm’s.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        If a dirty priest poo-pooed your drink you’d be none to pleased either :)

        Drinks and Celebs…… I served Rutger Hauer a pint in Tigh Neachtains, Galway city, and served Oliver Reed a brandy in McPeeks in Salthill… both in the early 90s. Makes me smile thinking of Ollie… bless him.

  19. Liam

    saw Peter Jackson’s masterpiece “Brain Dead” there back in the day:

    “Your mother ate my dog!”
    “Well… not all of it.”

  20. Soft like

    The dept of health (HSE) building behind it should have been knocked years ago. As a building it really reflects how neglected the whole area of health has been left to wither and slowly disintegrate. Awful 1960/70’s post Modern concrete prefabricated and glass eyesore. The screen/metropole has/had its day, nostalgia always gets in the way as this building has and always will be an eyesore. Although it always did show some “movies” (films) that where a little too controversial back in the 80’s/90’s. The lighthouse has stolen that area in recent years. Although I think in this day and age it’s very hard to have a controversial film as the Internet has covered almost every realm of this spectrum.

  21. RM Lawlor.

    There are very few old school cinemas left, it is indeed the end of an era. I saw many films in there, and glad I can say I had one of my own screened there too a few years back as part of a festival. I loved the fact they served wine too. Ah, this is sad news.

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