Sunday 7 January 2018

The Best Of Times?

The week was nothing to write about with two gales one night after each other and this morning we woke up to frost and ice.  

The other day we were in County Limerick and we stopped for pizza in Abbeyfeale at Apache Pizza.  The wife and the lads went in to order pizza and I looked through the car window and saw the facade of an old cinema in Abbeyfeale.  So of course I did Google it and it was built in 1940 with an Art Deco facade.  

The old Abbey Cinema in Abbeyfeale.
Sadly, it closed its doors in the nineteen nineties.  If only its walls could talk, which famous people graced this place?

Then I started thinking what uses this old building could be used for: an indoor flea market, rock music venue, community centre, meeting place, luxury flats or a big home with open space, or even a cinema again?

I wonder how many cinemas, theatres, dance halls.., are there in England, Ireland, Europe and America?  Is there a society for the preservation of old entertainment buildings?

Then my mental juke box began to play in my head.   Neil Peart  famous Rush drummer (I have seen them twice) came up with the phrase and I often use it on this blog.   

I use to own a lazer cut record album with the writing Paradise Theatre and Styx (I think?) cut into the vinyl.  It was around about nineteen eighty.  Back when Rock bands had concept albums.  Paradise Theatre was a massive hit for Styx and its about the old Paradise Theatre in Chicago.  

I have always wanted to see Styx live but I live in hope.  Perhaps they will play a mini tour of Bantry, Durrus and Drimoleague just for me?  I am joking!

Here's a track from my mental jukebox  and I think is apt!  Enjoy.  Oh yeah.  Do you have a mental juke box in your head and certain tracks start playing?

Do you have an old building near you that you think should be preserved?  I say indoor flea markets and Rock clubs everywhere!


  1. There is a lovely old theatre in central Brighton that has been empty for years. The Hippodrome has been sold several times recently, and we now hear that it may once again become a theatre and music venue with a restaurant. I do hope this time they get it right; it's too good a building to be lost.

  2. I hope they do save the Hippodrome in Brighton.

    Even the not so grand ones would make great indoor markets for veggie growers and fleamarkets...? Thanks.

  3. The Hippodrome Theatre in Norwich is now a Multi-Storey Car Park. There is a blue plaque reminding us of its past. I went on a guided tour of the city recently and two of us were able to relate stories of the Hippodrome related to us by our mothers. It was a music hall and theatre and many famous people of the 1930s and 40s performed there, and through the war. I regret that I only know it as a car park. Great post Dave.

    1. Hi Rachel. Thanks for telling us about the Hippodrome Theatre in Norwich. It sounds like good information for some posts for your blog Rachel. We've been watching Goodnight Sweetheart on the Drama channel last week and next week. It brings back all that wartime nostalgia. Thanks!

  4. I came across Styx on YouTube a couple of months ago when I chanced upon 'The boat on the river'. I am amazed that I have never heard of them. But I prefer their later music, after the original lead singer left the band.
    As for 'saving' old buildings...... France is full of lovely old buildings which need to be saved!

  5. Crystal Ball is another great Styx song Vera. They are one band that I would travel anywhere in Europe to see.

    There are derelict farmsteads and lovely old buildings all over Europe and here in Ireland that should be saved for future generations. I often think think the buildings have sad faces. Thanks!

  6. Is nothing sacred? When I think of the fun we had in ballrooms and theatres it upsets me when they turn beautiful buildings into shopping precincts. And why... everything is done on line these days. I too break into song when the radio plays the oldies, which is often!

  7. Thanks for your thoughts Valerie. It saddens me when you such magnificent buildings derelict or closed. You can not beat live music and theatre...


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