Thursday, 18 June 2015

St Columb's Hall

I have 2 snaps for you today of 'historic buildings' in Derry-Londonderry.  Both I have a personal connection to, upon which I shall elaborate in the near future (Ed: Jeez Louise, have you listened to yourself lately?  Plain English, please...).

This first building is the Orchard Cinema, on Orchard Street, no less (no prizes for guessing the derivation of that street name, eh?!).  Not many trees around now, though - just these young couple, captured forever on film.

Orchard Cinema, Derry, 2015

I went there once, to watch a film.  I can remember the film - it was shortly after I arrived in Derry and very appropriate it was too...Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson.  Well maybe the fear part was appropriate, not the loathing, since I enjoyed Derry enormously.  Now if you don't know who this particular Mr Thompson is I suggest you get your Google out and go look.  And then go read.  And then go see.  And then you will understand.  Directed by Mr Terry Gilliam, no less - so you know it's going to be different.  IMDB's synopsis reads 'An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.'  Nothing more needs to be said.

The other thing I remember about this cinema is just how darn civilised it was...there was a small bar area, so you could get your drink and then take - yes, take - your drink, in a glass no less, into the projection area and sit and watch and sup.  How wonderful is that?  If all cinemas were like that I might go a bit more often...

The next building I have for you is round the corner from the cinema and is St. Columb's Hall - in fact, I think the cinema is technically part of the St Columb's Hall building.   When I was an academic and did all sorts of Important Things I went here once for the end-of-year graduation.  I remember it for two things - it was a lovely building inside and out, but with several hundred people inside, in early July, without air-con, it was hell on earth.   Anyway, here's what it looks like from the outside:

St Columb's Hall, Derry
You can probably just make out the Millennium Forum next door - I was there too one year but it's modern and instantly forgettable.  I didn't even take a proper snap of it, even though it sneaked into this one.

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