Sligo Film Society returns with it’s Thursday screening nights presenting Irish and international cinema at The Model after a near two year hiatus. The cinema club, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2019, makes it one of the oldest regional film societies in Ireland.
The film society, which was first established in 1944, has experienced a period of growth in recent years, with audience numbers increasing and several sold-out screenings. That came to a halt in March 2020, with the familiar recent history of public health lockdowns due to Covid-19. The group came together during the first lockdown in 2020 with the support of Access Cinema, to present virtual screenings which allowed the SFS community to watch a curated selection of films from the comfort of their home.
Sligo Film Society was first established in April 1944 when a branch of the Irish Film Society was set up at The Gaiety Cinema. The aim was to bring a monthly programme of outstanding films of every nationality, not normally screened in mainstream cinema. A committee of nine was elected with R.H.Campbell-Perry as Chairman and Anthony (Tony) P. Toher as Secretary.
However, the idea to bring the best of world cinema to Sligo is said to have been born in the 1930s when the late Tony Toher’s father, Thomas P. Toher, decided to screen films in a shed in the back of Tohers Chemist, formerly located on Stephen Street.
The society began by screening its programme in the Gaiety cinema and went on to showcase films in venues all over Sligo including the Hawk’s Well Theatre, the Glasshouse Hotel, the Yeats Memorial Building, IT Sligo and the Teacher’s Centre (now the ETB).
While the film programme was a form of entertainment for local people, the ambition of the committee was to also encourage an appreciation of the art of cinema.
This was fulfilled with the establishment of the RTC (IT Sligo) in 1970, when a group of film enthusiasts emerged and took over the running of SFS. Many of these members still serve on the committee today and are joined by several new members.
Sligo Film Society screens on Thursdays, at 8pm at The Model Sligo. Upcoming screenings include:
Feb 17th: Never Gonna Snow Again
Feb 24th: You Will Die at Twenty
Mar 3rd: C’mon C’mon
Mar 10th: Hive (in association with Dublin International Film Festival)
For more information and to purchase advance tickets see sligofilmsociety.org
- Sligo Film Society is a member of access>CINEMA, the resource organisation for regional cultural cinema exhibition in Ireland.
- Sligo Film Society runs its programme in partnership with The Model Cinema every Thursday at 8pm.
First photo is from the SFS archives: A photo from 1988 when Sligo Film Society screened ‘Reefer and The Model’ at The Gaiety Cinema as part of the Sligo Arts Festival. Pictured are Justin McCarthy, Jackie Lynch, Lelia Doolin (Producer), Joe Comerford (Director), Paddy Doherty, Vivien Murray, and John Gault (RIP).