A Lamp at da Lido

The word “Lamp” in Cork slang means to look at something or to have a glimpse. This 60-minute documentary unpacks the history and stories from what’s known as the “The Golden Age of Cinema” from 1929 onwards. The Cork Community Artlink Space was formerly known as the Lido Cinema. It opened it doors in 1931 and became a hub of activity and social space in Blackpool. This documentary aims to capture some of the stories that emanated from locals that frequented the space at this time along with exploring connections to the present-day space. The Lido was slightly different from other cinemas at this time. The Lido catered for the poorer people of Cork and so this led to a strange method of payment for your cinema ticket. This exchange happened in the form of jam jars. Jam jars were accepted as a form of currency. The Lido also did not show latest release films and largely preferred to screen series such as Flash Gordan and older more obscure films than the larger mainstream films being screened in the Savoy or the Imperial Cinema.

The expression “Go in there walking, come out crawling” was referenced during this period and alluded to the fact that the building was flea ridden. The Lido was also called “The Flea Pics”. One story tells about the fact that a butcher shop opened directly across the road from the Lido and what was seen was a trail of maggots leaving the Lido to move into the Butcher Shop. The Lido built up a reputation for “anti- social” behaviour. A discussion on the contrast of what anti-social behaviour was like then and is now occur. It is also noted that particular films influenced the behaviour of youths at this time, for example if a cowboy film was shown then this would influence peoples style of clothing and everyone would dress like a cowboy until the next film was shown.

In partnership with 

UCC 983 FM Campus Radio, Cork Community Artlink, The Cork Folklore project & the The Blackpool Historical Society. 

Presented by Jennifer Moynihan and produced by Kathy O’ Hare. 

Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. 

Special thanks to contributors Tom Foley, Tom Desmond , John McSweeny, William de la Foret, Pete Duffy, Eileen Jones, Jim Mcgrath