History

 


Cinema in Macroom in Mid Cork started in the old school building at Lucey’s Lane in 1918 lasting to the early thirties. There townspeople and others were introduced to the silent films, to the accompaniment of a piano! The subsequent invention of talking pictures in the mid twenties necessitated new equipment and new technology, and became known later as the Castle Ballroom. Once again the cinema had to be updated, technicolor was now in vogue and the great popularity of fim going encouraged Messrs Lucey and Pope to form the Palace Cinema Company. The Palace Cinema was built on the site of a derelict town house owned by the Baldwin family. The new Cinema opened on Saturday, 25th April 1953 with ‘Scaramouche’ starring Steward Grainger, Elanor Parker, Janet Leigh, Mel Ferrer with colour by ‘Technicolor’. There were shows at 6.45p.m. and 9.00p.m. and admission including tax was 2/2 (11p) Balcony, 1/8 (8p) Stalls, and the Pit 1/3 (6p).  A poster in Dineen’s tavern is perfectly preserved showing the first week’s films starring the great actors and actresses of that era. These included the Marx Brothers, Esther William, Red Shelton, HowardKeel, Pier Angeli, Gene Kelly, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford and Ethel Barrymore.  

Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre, Macroom Co. Cork

Briery Gap Theatre

Briery Gap Theatre 2013

The Cinema was described as one of the most luxurious and up-to-date theatres in rural Ireland, with state of the art equipment. When the wide screen was introduced in the late 1950’s the Palace followed suit. The Palace closed in 1974 and remained so for a year. It reopened under the ownership of the late Denis Murphy, of Spar Supermarket, Macroom. The first show under the new management was ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest’ starring Jack Nicholson. In the following years the Cinema was again refurbished and re-equipped. A new sound system was installed, equipment was updated, a new screen and modern Xenon lamps were provided. But film going had lost its audience to videos during the 1980’s and films gave way to Saturday night discos. The Cinema finally closed on March 29th 1987 with the film ‘Crocodile Dundee’. In September 2013, Briery Gap re-opened following an extensive refurbishment programme, including an upgraded lighting and sound system, luxurious seating, vibrant new paint work and signage, as well as a stylish facelift to the exterior of the centre. The next chapter of Briery Gap’s varied history awaits to be told!


 

Season at a Glance