Coliseum Theatre

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Where: Cork, , Ireland

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When: 01 January 1913

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This photo of the Coliseum Theatre includes an unlikely ad for Wolsey Underwear complete with an image of Cardinal Wolsey?!

Our catalogue mistakenly gave Dublin as the location for this photo, but it didn't take long for our Flickr detectives to establish that this Coliseum Theatre was actually on King Street, now MacCurtain Street, in Cork City (see the comments below).

Thanks to guliolopez for the following information:
"The Coliseum was built in 1913 (so photo most likely 1914 or 1915 as indicated). It was designed for Southern Coliseums Ltd by architects H and A Hill of Cork - in collaboration with Mssrs Delany (Cork city engineer) and Houston (of Belfast) It was built by O'Connell & Company of Great George's St.

It operated as a cinema until the late 70s or early 80s. But (along with the next door sorting office on Brian Boru street) was in a bad state of repair - and both closed around the same time. The sorting office and the Coliseum buildings were redeveloped as the "leisureplex" (bowling/etc) in the late 80s. The complex is still known as the Coliseum locally. (Despite fact that "Coliseum" signage was removed).
"

Corkonean told us:
"I remember the Coliseum well. At this junction the Echo boys stood in the middle of the road and you had to have your penny ready to get your copy of the Echo and not hold up the flow of the traffic. You could get into the cinema for 4d. Further along MacCurtain Street was another cinema which was more popular."

Date: Probably 1913

NLI Ref.: OCO 61

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 60947
coliseumtheatre ireland theatre newlivingpictures dailysketch wolseyunderwear globe corkales advertising telegraphpole tramtracks cobblestones hats fergusoconnor fergusoconnorcollection glassnegative operahouse kingstreet maccurtainstreet cork munster nationallibraryofireland battleofwaterloo films movies 20thcentury

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  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 12/Apr/2012 08:39:52

    From the also excellent Dictionary of irish Architects: Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HENRY STREET, NO. 024 (COLISEUM OR PREMIER PALACE THEATRE) Date: 1913-15 Nature: New theatre. With Francis Bergin. Opened, 5 Apr 1915. Destroyed in 1916. Refs: Drawings in OPW, formerly Cabinet E; IB 55, 7 Jun,16 Aug,13 Sep 1913, 383,536,595; 56, 27 Mar,10 Apr 1915, 141,168; Freeman's Journal, 17 Mar 1915. Is the Freeman's Journal online?

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 12/Apr/2012 08:51:39

    24 Henry street is now this Champion Sports store, and is indeed directly opposite Moore Street, here on the OS 25" map. It's all wrong for this picture, which is on a street corner with tram tracks (Henry street had no trams).

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/Apr/2012 09:15:55

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Browsed through 17 March 1915 edition of the Freeman's Journal but could find no mention of the theatre. However, this is the description of the (3,000 seater) Coliseum in the Irish Times on Wednesday, 31 March 1915: "... The main entrance will be in Henry street, where there is an imposing facade, designed in Neo-Grec style, executed in white glazed Carrara ware. The iron and glass verandah projecting over the footway has been designed to harmonise with this facade, and the glass to this and thw whole of the windows will be in coloured decorative leaded work. " Does that sound like a description of this building? And could it possibly hold 3,000?!

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    Ikatadmirer

    • 12/Apr/2012 09:16:46

    Clearly the Cork Coliseum, see reference to Cork ales and "Opera House"

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    Niall McAuley

    • 12/Apr/2012 09:17:25

    McCurtain Street, Cork, (formerly King Street), site of the Coliseum Picture Theatre, on the other hand, did have tram tracks

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    Niall McAuley

    • 12/Apr/2012 09:18:35

    Gotcha! Streetview of the Leisureplex in Cork, at 1 MacCurtain Street.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/Apr/2012 09:22:58

    And I just remembered this lovely cinema poster we have on our other Flickr stream - King Street, Cork!

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    Niall McAuley

    • 12/Apr/2012 09:25:58

    The silent movie "The Battle of Waterloo" was released in 1913, according to the IMDb

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 12/Apr/2012 09:47:39

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley/ Well done Niall, great detective work. That is clearly the site of the Cork Coliseum theatre and the photo above represents that building. Just goes to show that Carols records are not infallible but that her supporters are;-)

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/Apr/2012 10:02:35

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie Have never claimed infallibility! You guys wouldn't let me get away with it, if I tried... :) And thanks, Niall http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley I'll change the catalogue record later. I wonder how long it took for movies to reach Cork. If "Waterloo" was released in 1913, would it have been 1914? Will check newspapers if poss. So now we'll have a proper location, and a date. (This one had the saddest "No Date" attached to it in our catalogue.) You Flickroonies are magificent!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 12/Apr/2012 10:29:32

    Re 'Wolsey' - they recently celebrated 250 years in business, and "The firm's headquarters was situated close to Leicester Abbey, the burial place of Cardinal Wolsey, and the firm decided to exploit this historic link by establishing 'Wolsey' as one of the earliest established brand names." From www.knittingtogether.org.uk/doc2.asp?doc=14170&cat=785

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 12/Apr/2012 10:32:06

    And a page from 'Punch' - www.ebay.com/itm/1918-WW1-advert-for-WOLSEY-underwear-arm...

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 12/Apr/2012 10:59:39

    Just thinking about the sentence "an unlikely ad for Wolsley Underwear and a inmage of Cardinal Wolsley" Of course the Cardinal had underwear, what did you think he wore under that long gown? On second thoughts don't answer that. I remember growing up that Wolsley underwear and knitwear were quite commonly available and were of very high quality. I seem to remember that they had a factory in Cork, but I may be mistaken.

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 12/Apr/2012 14:45:32

    (Been waiting patiently for a Cork photo for a while :) ). Indeed this is the Coliseum in Cork. It's located precisely where Niall indicates at 1 MacCurtain Street. (A few hundred yards down the Lwr Glanmire Road from this photo.) The Coliseum was built in 1913 (so photo most likely 1914 or 1915 as indicated). It was designed for Southern Coliseums Ltd by architects H and A Hill of Cork - in collaboration with Mssrs Delany (Cork city engineer) and Houston (of Belfast) It was built by O'Connell & Company of Great George's St. It operated as a cinema until the late 70s or early 80s. But (along with the next door sorting office on Brian Boru street) was in a bad state of repair - and both closed around the same time. The sorting office and the Coliseum buildings were redeveloped as the "leisureplex" (bowling/etc) in the late 80s. The complex is still known as the Coliseum locally. (Despite fact that "Coliseum" signage was removed).

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/Apr/2012 18:04:39

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie I guess I meant the Cardinal was an unlikely "face" of an underwear brand...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/Apr/2012 18:09:47

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Sorry for keeping you waiting! Thank you for your patience... :)

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 12/Apr/2012 22:28:11

    Cardinal Wolsey wore underwear ever since he got his Hampton Court ...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Apr/2012 07:32:04

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Ba dum tish! :D

  • profile

    GeirO4

    • 13/Apr/2012 19:31:43

    Nice

  • profile

    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 14/Apr/2012 15:13:31

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland And it only costs one letter S and six letter D's to get in! Pounds and shillings I assume...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 14/Apr/2012 18:18:04

    1s 6d was one Shilling and 6 Denarii.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 14/Apr/2012 22:15:35

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] 1s 6d in 1913 is equivalent nowadays to 5.76 UKPounds (retail price index), or 24.40 UKPounds (average earnings) using this - www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare/ . Not sure about euros. I think the back rows were cheaper and naughtier - my parents used to talk about "sixpenny worth of hot hands"!

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    Corkonean

    • 19/Apr/2012 13:53:40

    I remember the Coliseum well. At this junction the Echo boys stood in the middle of the road and you had to have your penny ready to get your copy of the Echo and not hold up the flow of the traffic. You could get into the cinema for 4d.Further along McCurtain Street was another cinema which was more popular.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 19/Apr/2012 20:58:27

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] That's a lovely memory to have. Hope you don't mind, but I've added your comment under the photo above. It brings that corner to life... Which was your favourite - the Coliseum or the other one along the street?

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    myheadismyonlyhouse

    • 05/Dec/2013 01:00:21

    hi everyone. have a look at earlyirishcinema.wordpress.com/category/gaelic-games. this has a clipping from the cork examiner of 22 Sep. 1913, with ads showing the films running at both the assembly rooms and the coliseum for that week.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 05/Dec/2013 08:33:45

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Excellent! So the Battle movie first played in the Coliseum from the 22nd to 28th September 1913. Hard to know if it had another run later, but that's a very exact earliest date!

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    guliolopez

    • 05/Dec/2013 10:23:34

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Nice one! So it's not 100% confirmation of September 1913. But a pretty strong indication. Great stuff. (And also nice to see the ads for the Assems as well. They had a name for Westerns alright) Someone directed me to read "The Golden Age of Cork Cinemas" (John McSweeney / Rose Arch Pub) - after I mentioned this photo. It puts some extra colour on the cinemas I (thought I) knew. The Imperial on Oliver Plunkett Street (well before my time) was nicknamed "Lourdes"; because "if you went in crippled you'd come out walkin'." (with fleas) :)

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 05/Dec/2013 11:16:54

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] As Niall said, "Excellent!" - thanks a million!

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    myheadismyonlyhouse

    • 05/Dec/2013 19:31:53

    and the film company that made battle of waterloo movie has it own wikipedia page, an interesting exercise in itself, made in 5 days for 1800 quid. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_and_Colonial_Films - more detail and stills from it here www.martinsworld.f9.co.uk/Erdiburn/Waterloo.htm all the extras were local villagers, and the town commemorated the event this september by staging a reenactment. its in the bfi protected film archive, originally an hour and a half long, only half of which still exists, theres about a minute of it on youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXon-u79Wy0. if you read the press clipping webpage i linked, the munster finals of 1912 and 1913 (between cork and tipperary...) were filmed in dungarvan on the day of the match and shown in the assembly rooms in cork the following day. and you thought the media marketing of sport was a new idea.........

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    myheadismyonlyhouse

    • 08/Dec/2013 01:19:09

    About the roadworks in this photo. the two lifting bridges, clontarf and brian boru, were only opened on new years day 1912. several blocks of warehouses were demolished on both sides of the river as well as the middle island to make a straight run across for the railtracks between the two rail depots in the city.. so the street on the left hand side of the shot would have been a brand new road in 1913. the cinema itself only opened in 1913 looks like theyre putting down cobbles. also looks like snow on the ground. note to self, must check de paper for sept.1913.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Dec/2013 11:45:22

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thanks a million! If you do find any more information, you know where to come... :)

  • profile

    genghis

    • 19/Feb/2014 03:08:42

    Building still extant, can be seen on Street View www.google.ie/maps/@51.90132,-8.46537,3a,75y,230.48h,90t/...