By now we are all aware that our sole individual art house cinema is in difficulty. The Kino has long been the cinematic triumph of tiny Cork, a big player during the Cork Film Festival, and a pearl of our local culture. It comes as no surprise to some that, being somewhat specialist, the Kino must have seen troubles over the past few months of economic drain. I was always of the opinion that the Kino would always be there, tipping away politely on its own; a small indie house where the staff are pleasant and the seats are comfy. I was wrong; the cinema will close at the end of this month if we don’t act to save it.
The Kino was established by Mick Hannigan in 1996 with just one ‘screen and it remains the only art house cinema outside of Dublin. While you might not be aware of it, Cork has a very rich history of film -cinemas from the Coliseum to the Pav (ask your Ma about them!) have long since disappeared and with the departure of the Capital, it seems that the Kino is treading water, almost alone.
Lately when I see the sad, boarded up face of the old Capital building on Grand Parade, I can’t help thinking that it would be a huge loss for the Kino to end up like that. To the exact end of escaping that, a Facebook page has been set up to organise the people of Cork into saving the Kino, as has a website designed for donations. There are fund raisers organised and the Friends of Kino are always on the lookout for volunteers.
Chris Neill, a programmer at the cinema, called to Cork Campus Radio last week to talk about the issues –the interview is available by podcast at www.ucc.ie/ccr. But running something based solely on donations isn’t a viable option long-term. At a meeting held on October 31st in the Opera House, an interim Steering Committee was appointed to consider the possibility of saving the cinema.
The Steering Committee went to the Civic Trust Building the following day, and resolved to establish a trust fund and business plan for the maintenance of the Kino as a permanent business in Cork. This is clearly a serious effort to save an important amenity for our city. One of many fundraisers is taking place this November 15th in An Realt Dearg -go along to pledge your support.
I’m happy to declare my support for the Kino. I intend to donate to the Kino fund, because I think that without this cinema, anybody interested in independent film wil110se a vital resource including students in this University. UCC is literally up the road from the Kino. 4000 people use it every year. If it needs help to survive, then UCC students have a strong chance of providing for it. Here we have an opportunity to stand up for something small and beloved. It would be a true shame to not bother.