By: Geraldine Monaghan (Dublin) Title: Limerick Cinemas and ‘Tarzan’ Reenactments

I was born in 1938 and lived in the country outside Foynes in Co. Limerick in the days when there was no TV, no phone, no running water, no nothing.  We did have a radio, however, one cobbled together by my father who was a Radio Operator  on Foynes Island; it was the time of the Seaplanes flying into the base in Foynes Harbour.

The first moving picture I saw was when I was about 7-8 and it was Walt Disney’s animation movie of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  the second was a terrible thing called “Sweet Rosie O’Grady”.  Someone from Limerick came out every now and again to put on a Movie Show in the Village Hall.  Then over the years, there was a regular Friday night picture show when we saw the Cowboy Films with Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers.  (To this day I still love a good horse Opera and “The Big Country” is on my regulsr re-watch list) .

Then at one point, I remember the man from Limerick brought a Serial of Tarzan Films every Friday night and we used to be in agony waiting for the next episode.  In fact, to while away the time we used to enact what we thought might be the next storyline. I have a vague memory of paying 4 old pennies to go in to see these films; this old, old pennies. Our picture-going was interrupted one Summer in the 1940s when there was an outbreak of Polio and we were not allowed to congregate in groups.

We moved in to Limerick to live in 1949 and there we had a choice of real Cinemas.  The Savoy, the Lyric and there were a couple of suburban cinemas too if memory serves me.  Children sat in the “pit” for 4 old pennies and for a shilling you got to sit in the regular part of the Cinema.  Again, the Cowboy films were very popular, though musicals were also a favourite.  (I still love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) and would love to see again “Balalaika”  with Nelson Eddy and, has anyone ever heard of “The Bitter Tea of General Yen” – set in China and starring that famous English Actor – would you believe his name escapes me – he was in the very first production of “The Winslow ”   –   YES  – I have him – Robert Donat.

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