Continuation of mobile cinema services essential

21 July 2016

News that the CineMobile, Ireland’s only mobile cinema service has ceased trading is a great disappointment and will result in the denial of a local movie-going experience for the tens of thousands of visitors that it attracted each year.

CineMobile has provided an invaluable service to festival goers in places like Galway and Kilkenny, but more importantly, it had become a familiar sight in villages and towns around the country, many of which are fifty miles or more from the nearest cinema.

It also provided a service for schools, especially Gaelscoileanna, and screened the Irish language versions of many popular titles, including the Harry Potter series.

Like many organisations that receive public funding, CineMobile has come under particular financial pressure in recent years, and while it had made great progress in building its own revenue streams, it has not proved possible to make up the deficit.

I would urge Minister Heather Humphreys to see what can be rescued from this unfortunate situation.

I would propose that she convene a meeting of interested parties, with a view to putting together an action plan that would ensure the continuation of some or all of the services, that up to now were provided by CineWorld.

These would include The Arts Council, Bórd Scannán na hÉireann, the Irish Film Institute, broadcasters such as RTE, Screen Producers Ireland, along with community organisations such as Macra na Feirme and Foroige.

I believe with a bit of imagination and political will, perhaps we can get some kind of positive outcome out of this.

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