Big Read: Cinema industry reeling from double whammy of pandemic and rise of streaming

As streaming services dominate the movie market, numbers going to the big screen are declining worldwide – although Ireland appears to be bucking the trend

In 2019, the year before the pandemic, Irish people spent €117.4 million at the cinema. Box office figures fell significantly to €29.5 million in 2020

Ireland’s first cinema, the Volta Electric Theatre, was opened on Mary Street in Dublin by James Joyce in 1909. The writer had become fascinated by moving pictures after spending time in Italy, and wanted to share them with his fellow Dubliners.

But the cinema quickly faced an existential crisis. The theatre mostly showed films from Europe, which proved unpopular with many Dubliners. After just seven months, Joyce withdrew his involvement and sold his stake. The ...