Mr Screen

Mr. Screen ~ Bronze
~ Vincent Browne

This sculpture of a cinema usher, entitled Mr. Screen, is a caricature and stands outside the Screen Cinema at the junction of Hawkins Street and Townsend Street in Dublin.

The duties of a cinema usher include checking tickets, directing people to their assigned seats, distributing programmes, answering questions and assisting people in finding restrooms and refreshments. It might also include a security role.

Vincent Browne studied at the National College of Art & Design and the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Holland. He represented Ireland in the 7th International Small Sculpture Show in Budpest. He won the Oireachtas Gold Medal for sculpture three times (1974, 85, 86); the Waterford Glass Prize (1992); and several grants and awards from the Arts Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs. His Maritime Piece in Wicklow town won the Concrete Society of Ireland Sculpture Award in 1993.

Nowadays we hear constantly about people suffering from stress. It was not a word in our lexicon when I was young. If any of us were feeling uptight, frustrated or angry about something, mammy set us to do some physical task. By the time the chore was completed, all angst and frustration were worked off and a cheerful calm was restored.

A few years down the line when were working for our living, when form was not good, we went to the pictures/movies to see a ‘weepie’ or a comedy and either cried or laughed our way through. We danced our way home with all the troubled emotions settled….. sure it was better and cheaper than a visit to the doctor or a bottle of pills.

Going to the pictures has been very much on my mind in recent months.

In the middle of last December I became aware of a project at the hands of Planet Korda Productions.

See You at the Pictures! is a new documentary from Planet Korda Pictures in association with RTÉ. We are looking for stories/anecdotes about all aspects of the cinema-going experience from people of all ages.

It was a quiet week so I decided to jot down a few memories…. before I knew it, I was clicking the ‘send’ button. The following day I had an email thanking me for my contribution. You can read it here.

Last week interviews were being held in Dublin and I was asked if I would be available for a chat. I went along on Wednesday afternoon and shared some memories of my visits to the pictures, cinemas that are no more and how some of the pictures had an impact on my life. I hope it was helpful.

Of course, I might be lying in a bundle on a cold cutting room floor by now. No worries, it was a very interesting experience.

20 thoughts on “Mr Screen

  1. Mike Goad

    Very nice — and very interesting. Our local movie theater has all the recent releases, but I haven’t been in it in years, even though it’s right next to the gym I go to. The owners are too interested in making money to spend much money for upkeep. If we want to see a recent release, we have to drive about an hour, which we do a few times a year.

    When I was kid, we would have season passes for Saturday afternoon matinees, usually old westerns, as I recall, and the ticket would be good for the second feature, too. The old theater is still there — just looked on Google street view, but it is now a community theater. The city was about 20,00 in population, but I remember going to four different movie theaters, including the drive-in theater.

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Mike – The last movie I went to see was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and I laughed the whole way through.

  3. Grannymar Post author

    Brighid – We never had and as far as I know, still do not have drive-in- movies in Ireland.

  4. steph

    Hi Grannymar

    Just popping by to say HELLO! 😀

    Thanks for drawing my attention to the movie… I LOVED the trailer so will definitely seek out the movie now.

    btw HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Elly today!
    Just about made it in time 😉

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Steph – Enjoy the movie and be prepared to come home sore from the laughter. It has a great cast.

  6. wisewebwoman

    It was a bit of a task reading the article as the set up was not eye-friendly and some of the text bled into the left…..ouch. However, I loved your sharing of the memories of movies. I’ve written a few tims about mine
    And yes, DYING to see Marigold, what a cast!!

  7. Grannymar Post author

    WWW – I agree with you about the difficulty in reading the stories on See You at the Pictures site. The Cast in Marigold are a dream, to have them altogether makes the film special.

  8. Nick

    I love the sculpture. Ramana’s right, he is a bit Stalin-like, though presumably a much more friendly and benign version!

    So we might see you on the silver screen later on….

  9. Grannymar Post author

    Nick – Mr Screen was a fun character. No promises about making it to the screen, silver or otherwise. It is a very early stage in the whole process.

  10. shackman

    Been as long time since I saw an usher at a cinema – the big multiplexes have up to 10 screens and they take your tickets and point you to the correct hallway. I only go to a place called The Movie Tavern any more – the West 7th St version – check it out at

    Great food, cold beer and even cocktails if you so desire – LOL. Alas – no ushers, just waiters & waitresses. Oh – and yes popcorn is available 🙂

  11. Grannymar Post author

    Tilly – It is getting like that! It is great to see artists and sculptors getting the recognition.


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