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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Save the KINO!

This was ostensibly supposed to be a Graduate column, but it probably fits better on the blog. My beloved Kino is set to be closed very soon if sufficient funds are not raised. Sad times for all. I fondly remember the Kino as the place where I could go on many a hungover afternoon with my flatmate Nicola and watch good films in peace. I also remember less fondly one hungover afternoon where we went to watch Rachel Getting Married. It was an amazing film, but the shaky camerawork made us very queasy indeed.

Consider the following a b-side column if you will.

The recession is over. Yes, you heard it here first. Unfortunately it's not over for us in the Emerald Isle but rather in the UK, where the economy has decided, much like a crash dieter, that all this economy shrinking is bad for it's health and will quickly pick up inflationary sticky buns in no time at all (well, until 2011, but who's counting?).
Not so for us in Ireland. The Celtic Hangover seems interminable. The December budget looming over us like a fiscal Freddie Krueger will adversely affect what the press ominously refers to as EVERYONE. Everyone, including children under three, will have to file tax returns. We will return to the Oirish Ireland of Angela's Ashes, where the only forms of recreation (for a woman) is to smoke and tut, (for a man) to drink the money earned on a casual basis as a hod carrier and (for children) retrieve a drunken Da from the pub after too many sups of porter.
Thankfully we in Cork have other, less ultimately depressing modes of distraction. As least we have the Kino, Ireland's only independent art-house cinema; the only place to watch hard-to-get films with a steaming cup of coffee in hand. Oh wait, actually we don't, because it's due to close at the end of the month.
The closure would be conceivable if it was badly managed, but it is not. The movie selections are uniformly good, the prices are reasonable and the coffee is piping hot. The cinema itself seems to be run on a shoestring of duct tape, Hersheys chocolate bars and a bottomless well of love and loyalty from it's staff and many patrons. At the time of writing, a Save the Kino Facebook page has almost eight thousand members, and counting. A fundraising website (www.savethekino.com) provides details on how to donate.
There is a lesson to be learned here. The budget that affects EVERYONE is no doubt affected in part by huge bailouts to our banks, yet the Kino is due to close for want of tens of thousands of euros, a fraction of government funding that was promised but never materialised. If everyone on that Facebook page donated eight euros, then the Kino could be saved. One of Corks most valuable cultural institutions could be rescued from oblivion for the price of a cinema ticket. Unfortunately, by the end of November there may not be any art-house films for Corkonians to watch.