Magic lockdown movie nights in Cork housing estate go online 

Magic lockdown movie nights in Cork housing estate go online 
Resident off Windmill road, Con Sheehan pictured during a windmill road picture show event. Picture Clare Keogh

A Cork street which attracted international headlines when they held a cinema screening on the gable end of a house to give residents a communal experience during the Covid-19 lockdown are to put their subsequent film nights on the internet.

Scott Duggan, from Frankfield Villas in Windfield Road in Cork, has projected two classic films on the to the gable end of a house in the terrace. 

Locals sit in their gardens and follow the audio from the film via a broadcast on local radio frequency.

Residents have pulled their sofas and chairs out on to their lawns in order to have a community film night of sorts whilst keeping social distancing protocols in place. 

Scott doesn't charge a fee for the events but instead asks householders to donate to Age Action.

The initiative has gained considerable attention on Twitter with Hollywood star John Krasinki including video footage of the film nights on his "Good News" Twitter feed and YouTube channel.

Mr Duggan has indicated that their next open-air film showing will be on April 22. 

If weather allows it will be live-streamed from Windmill Road on to the internet.

“We did our little bit for Age Action on our first cinema night and afterwards they got in touch to say they have had contact from all over the world as a result of the exposure the screening got – I was as surprised as them," Scott said.

Scott Duggan of Windmill Road Picture Show being interviewed during a windmill road picture show event.  
Scott Duggan of Windmill Road Picture Show being interviewed during a windmill road picture show event.  

"It really blew up on Twitter. It is great but we really wanted to help them out further if possible."

“Next Wednesday at 9pm, weather depending, we will be live streaming a Windmill Road Picture show night exclusively for Age Action Ireland so everyone can participate in this lovely community event. 

"We are hoping that people will donate what they can afford to Age Action Ireland”.

Age Action head of fundraising, Caroline O'Connell, said they had been inundated with requests for assistance during the pandemic.

“The number of requests for help is increasing daily so any contribution to the hardship fund would be of great assistance”.

Scott Duggan of Windmill Road Picture Show with an old family photo of his late dad Bartley Duggan and siblings
Scott Duggan of Windmill Road Picture Show with an old family photo of his late dad Bartley Duggan and siblings

“Scott’s events have shown how communities can still come together to show solidarity and hope while having some fun safely. We have had enquiries from far and wide about our work."

"We are hoping people can come together for our older citizens, have a little fun, share an experience and help at the same time."

Scott secured a special projector from Cyclone Rep Theatre for use during the movie nights.

"The movie night was so well received on the street that we are looking to bring the same to other suitable locations across the city over the next few weekends," he said.

Scott Duggan of Windmill Road Picture Show with an old family photo from his neighbour Con Sheehan Picture; Clare Keogh
Scott Duggan of Windmill Road Picture Show with an old family photo from his neighbour Con Sheehan Picture; Clare Keogh

"In suitable places, apartment blocks for example, which have a flat surface opposite where I can project, people can just sit on their balconies, or even inside, tune in on an FM band and enjoy watching a classic movie ‘with’ all their neighbours."

"It is important that this is just for the residents who can safely watch while maintaining distance."

"I think people are finding it hard being separated and if it brings any bit of joy to people in this difficult time then I would love to do."

Resident off Windmill road, Con Sheehan pictured during a windmill road picture show event.
Resident off Windmill road, Con Sheehan pictured during a windmill road picture show event.

Windmill Lane resident, Ann Lynch, said in her opinion it was the best community project she had encountered after over fifty years living in the Villas.

Residents were particularly thrilled to make the RTÉ news with one local joking that they would "never get over having Paschal Sheehy in the garden."

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