Around the corner from Trinity College and Molly Malone is a Dublin travel secret...in plain view.
Sequestered at the corner of Trinity College and College for my final days in Dublin, I planned on doing a lot of writing and a lot of neighbourhood exploration. This tourism mecca, home of the famous Molly Malone statue, would surely be the perfect location for another 200 meter challenge.
When you travel to Dublin it seems that all paths lead to Trinity. While O’Connell Street is the most significant street, it seems like every bus I take, every path I walk, every sign I follow leads me to this bustling corner in the city center. I’m certainly not alone.
Hundreds of thousands tourists converge on this part of Ireland every year, eager to see the fabled Book of Kells, Molly Malone, and many other nearby attractions. Surely, amid this well-trodden tourism path there would be a little nook or cranny worthy of the 200 meter challenge. Confident in success of my task, I eagerly took on the challenge the next day, vowing to leave no pub or park unturned until I found my prize.
Of course, I woke up the following morning to a sore and scratchy throat, a mild fever, and zero energy. I had been struck with a dreaded travel cold, a medical condition even more severe than a man cold. Feeling utterly sorry for myself, I left the room only once in order to procure a fruit smoothie. I was so frustrated at missing an entire day of travel experiences. I was even frustrated at missing out on work! It seemed like the 200 meter challenge was not meant to be in Dublin.
The next day, somewhat recovered, I made a predawn departure in order to hop on the nearby Dublin airport shuttle. As I rounded the corner to towards the main gates of Trinity College, something caught my eye. It was a shabby looking cinema – and was that a MOUSE statue in front of it?
Turns out what I was seeing was actually the Dublin Screen Cinema, host of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and a year round, three screen theatre specializing in world cinema, art-house, Irish, and independent film. If only I had seen it before – a movie and some salty, buttery popcorn would have been some amazing medicine for my cold! And the statue I thought was a mouse? Turns out it’s actually a caricature of a cinema usher and is officially known as Mr. Screen. My apologies to Vincent Browne, the Irish sculpture, for my gross misinterpretation of his work.
Alas, since I last visited Dublin, things have changed. The Screen Cinema has closed and Mr Screen has been relocated. It is now located in the lobby of the Savoy Cinema, O'Connell Street. I'm so glad he hasn't been destroyed. Ireland has a vibrant and exciting arts scene and it’s heartening to know that independent and Irish made films are being supported in the heart of Dublin.
If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city center or if the famous Irish rain descends upon you, walk to the Savoy Cinema and indulge yourself in a little travel relaxation and a great film. While you’re there, give a tip of the hat to Mr. Screen – and be sure to let me know if you think he looks a bit like a mouse!
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. What do you love about Dublin?
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