Movie Memories is a Creative Ireland/Cork County Council/UCC-funded project that records cinema-going memories of those living in small towns, villages and rural areas of Cork County from the 1940s to the present. It is led by Dan O’Connell, Practitioner in Residence, Department of Film and Screen Media, University College Cork ( and Gwenda Young, Lecturer in Film and Screen Media, University College Cork (

The Project seeks to preserve and celebrate the important contribution made by rural cinemas to community life and community spirit; the diverse experiences of moviegoers from all ages; and the shifts in patterns of distribution, exhibition and reception over the generations. It also aims to involve communities and to bring to light the innovative efforts made to rejuvenate film culture, and the arts more generally, in rural areas. The project employs creative practice, historically and theoretically engaged analysis, and new media platforms to present the scholarship in new, innovative ways. Though the original remit of the Project was to focus exclusively on the experience of rural dwellers in county Cork, it has since expanded its parameters and research is currently being conducted on mapping memories and practices throughout the Munster area.

The project’s current outputs are:

  • a documentary film, Movie Memories, that had its premiere at the Fastnet Film Festival in Schull in May 2018 and has gone on to have screenings at UCC; Charlie Chaplin Film Festival, Waterville, Cork; Chicago Irish Film Festival; East Cork Film Festiva; Maynooth University; Regal Cinema, Youghal; and has recently been selected as part of Access Cinema’s Bealtaine programme for May 2019.
  • An archive of memories, interviews and articles on cinema and cinema-going has been developed and encompasses material from across the county of Cork and beyond. We invite submissions and memories from anyone that has stories to tell of their cinema-going. Email:
  • A Roadshow, which is a recipient of a College of Arts, Celtic Studies, Social Science Impact Award. The Roadshow travels to select locations, where members of local communities can come along and record their own memories, in our custom-designed “Memory Booth” or write a “memory postcard”. All material will be included in the web archive.

Details of upcoming roadshows, screenings and events can be found on our website

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