The Only Place in Town
Sean Rainbird, Director of The National Gallery of Dublin
Just on the way down to Temple Bar, the IFI (Irish Film Institute) is on a little cobbled side street...
Just on the way down to Temple Bar, the IFI (Irish Film Institute) is on a little cobbled side street. The entrance I use is on the old Quaker House and it’s got this lovely blue neon circle over the door. The whole place is cobbled together using lots of different houses, as they’ve expanded it over the years, so it’s got this nice composite feel about it.
The thing I love about the IFI is that it’s old-fashioned, so they don’t do all the commercial stuff; they do the Documentary Festival or the French Film Festival, things like that instead. It’s an art house cinema so they’ve got a bar and you can eat there, and it’s just a very congenial place – it’s not posh, it’s not poor – you can roll up with a friend or you can be there on your own, quietly sitting in a corner.
Of course, it’s got a great archive as well. It looks after the Irish Film Archive, and they also show 35mm projections, so there’s a great sense of the history of film and how film’s displayed. They’ve got a couple of really old-fashioned large cinemas, and they’ve got others that are quite small and snug – it’s a lovely comfortable setting, and you can take a glass of wine into the screening with you too. A lot of people of different ages and different stages wash through, and it’s a well-cherished institution, right in the middle of town