Riverbanks Arts Centre (Newbridge), member of access>CINEMA
In Ireland, while cinema attendances remain high, there are still currently no full-time cinema theatres beyond the cities of Dublin and Belfast dedicated to screening a range of European and world cinema.
Established in 1977 as the Federation of Irish Film Societies (FIFS) – an umbrella organisation supporting film clubs screening a broad range of films not available in commercial cinemas – access>CINEMA was conceived to rectify this situation.
Nearly 40 years later, access>CINEMA’s key objective is to continue to readdress this imbalance via its countrywide network of 80 cinema sites, and in doing so ensure that audiences throughout Ireland have access to a diverse range of cinema content at local level.
In 2004, access>CINEMA became the first mini-network of venues to be accepted as a member of Europa Cinemas. At the time the concept of a mini-network was unique and original and remains a key strength for us today.
The value of the network lies in the innovative framework it provides to members – the centralised film programming and curatorial support services offered allow cinemas to develop strong cultural film programmes customised for local audiences, communities and circumstances.
Audience development is at the heart of access>CINEMA’s remit and work – to maintain existing audiences and grow new audiences for cinema is a key focus. As a result our young audience activities such as ZOOM for 15-18 year olds and curated family film programmes are key projects.
Maeve Cooke, Director of access>CINEMA