Losing Sight Of The Big Picture




From top: Savoy 1 cinema, Dublin 1 and Rick O’Shea

2fm broadcaster Rick O’Shea writes:

I Was told yesterday by someone in the know that the glorious Savoy 1, the largest cinema screen left in the country, is being closed and subdivided into smaller screens.

Trying to confirm with them, they’ve been a bit evasive on Twitter, but if it’s true it will be a sad day in the history of Irish cinema-going.

The screen that held almost 2,500 in the 1920s, holds 800 today with still that glorious giant set of red curtains that peel open before the film starts, and has been the location of pretty much every Irish movie premiere for decades will be chopped up into little ones in the coming months.

I’m not blaming the owners, this is obviously to make money to keep their heads above water in a competitive business, but to see the screen in which I saw my first James Bond movie, Superman, Silence Of The Lambs and hundreds since – and the place where I introduced Star Trek, almost every Marvel movie and many others – divided up will be as sad as the day the Adelphi [Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1] closed.

The less big the screens are, the less I want to go to them.

Yeah, there’s an element of the Clerys/ Bewley’s paradox at work here.

Be honest with me – when was the last time you went into a movie at Savoy 1?

Still, it’s the last of the truly great old big screens left…


Previously: Meanwhile, Close To Clerys

48 thoughts on “Losing Sight Of The Big Picture

  1. Cloud

    The screen at the very top of the Savoy is hilarious. It’s genuinely like watching a movie in the back of a van.

  2. postmanpat

    They had a good run. Its not like they’re making movies like they used to anymore. what with BvS Wonder Woman, Fifty Shades etc, its not like the bigger screen makes them better to consume. I no longer fear hell after watching the first Hobbit movie in Screen 1, a few years back.

    1. rotide

      Gravity, Skyfall, Grand Budapest Hotel and The Revanant.

      Just a few examples off the top of my head of recent films* that benefit from the bigger screen.

      *that people who think The Hobbit is a good reference point for the cream of cinema might have seen anyway.

  3. Increasing Displacement

    when you can buy a 55 inch 4k HDR tv for 700-800 why bother?
    so you can pay 30 once you add popcorn and a drink?

  4. Jade

    I think the last time I was there was the Surprise film in the Film festival last year.
    I understand why they are doing it but still very sad to see it go.
    IMC have also turned the open area upstairs in the Dun Laoghaire branch into a tiny 10-14 seater. They are really trying to cram in as many screens as possible into any spare space.

  5. Odockatee

    Its sad but inevitable in the way the Screen went too, although I think the Screen could have survived if a bit better manage – see what the Lighthouse did since reopening. Good news is that the Stella in Rathmines is reopening. Irish people love cinema and radio and long may that continue

  6. DubLoony

    Noooo! Its the only place to see the big event flicks.
    Brought all my nephews to see Star wars there.

    At lest, I hope they keep the curtains.

  7. ReproBertie

    Last time I was in Savoy 1 was to see Rogue One with my Dad and brothers on the day it opened. The last time before that was probably to see The Force Awakens with the same people on the day that opened.

    There’s something about Savoy 1 that makes going to the cinema feel like more of an event. I went to see the 3 LOTR films there with my wife and, given the choice, would take it over any other screen when there’s a film I’m excited about seeing.

    1. Malta

      I went to see The Matrix there on opening night. There was a trailer for The Phantom Menace. The frisson in the room of 800 sci-fi fans when the green Lucasfilm logo came up was something I will always remember!

  8. Spaghetti Hoop

    I’m with Rick on this – the Savoy big screen is too good to lose. I would have gone to the Savoy more than Lighthouse or Screen simply for the drama and if the movie was befitting. Last one seen there: Sicario.

    1. jambon

      It’s the best cinema experience in the city, it would be a shame to let it go the way of The Screen, mangled!

  9. TMH

    I’ve only been to the Savoy once. I’m pretty happy going to see movies on the IMAX Screen in Cineworld for big events.

  10. Spaghetti Hoop

    Then again, this rumour could emanate from the Savoy marketing team themselves…..aka the Spiceburger Effect.

  11. Helen

    There already have 9 screens in The Savoy, how many do they need? Until recently I would go to Screen1 on a regular basis but the increased ticket prices for the “glacial” experience (whatever the F that’s meant to be) seems a bit of a con and i avoid it now. That said if this is to happen it will be a shame to see Screen1 go.

    1. Some Dad

      Galactic not glacial.Bollox either way.Was there last week for Rogue One.An exit sign either side of the screen ruined the experience.Can we all just agree that we know the way out

  12. Itchysays

    Last time I was in the Savoy screen 1 for a movie, honestly…..1977, Star Wars (mind blown) :P
    ….last time at Screen 2, 1979, Alien ( cue the nightmares).

    So not a big cinema goer obviously…….last time I was in a cinema, 1998, Saving Private Ryan, Ha !

  13. Scooperman

    The last film I saw there was The Excorcist, Halloween 98. Someone collapsed during the film and had to be brought out by paramedics. It was scary as FC*K

  14. Eamonn Clancy

    Before it was Savoy 1 it was just the Savoy, one big cinema with a balcony, the whole thing was split up in the late 70s or early 80s into what it is now. Build a bridge and get over it.

  15. Mysterybeat

    Boo. The giant size of screen 1 is the only way to watch big blockbuster movies. We always go there.
    Also it’s far cheaper in the Savoy than cineworld, and it’s an Irish -owned operation if that means anything.
    Support your local cinema folks!

  16. Happy Molloy

    I was there once around three years ago, can’t remember what film, but left a little disappointed as my minds eye had painted a picture of an old school cinema with gold painted plaster castings like the cinema in last action hero.

    Got there and discovered it was fairly non descript. Am sure if I went to it as a kid I might feel a little more nostalgic towards it.

        1. $hifty

          Clery’s Paradox: People lamenting the demise of a cultural landmark, while not bothering their hole to actually,you know, visit the place on the regular and give them their custom. The Bewley’scrowd are the same. Giving out that the café is a part of the City, while standing outside hlding a Starbucks cup.

          The 3rd or 4th comment on this article is a great example:
          “Haven’t been to Savoy 1 in years, but would be very sad to see it go”

  17. Anomanomanom

    The savoy has always been a kip. I hated that place as a child, then realised as teenager that it was great place to “drop something” and most times get a clatter.

  18. Peter Dempsey


    Supporting the Savoy because it’s “Irish owned” is akin to saying “what about looking after our own homeless instead of taking more refugees”

  19. Optimus Grime

    Ah come on people can we not hold on to anything? Clery’s is gone, now the Savoy will be a non-descript multplex yoke. We can only that Dr Quirkey’s is next for the chop in that case!

Comments are closed.