Sligo Film Society at 75

Sligo Film Society at 75

Sligo Film Society is celebrating 75 years of screening Irish and international cinema, making it one of the oldest regional film societies in Ireland.

The film society, which was first established in 1944, has experienced a period of growth in recent years, with audience numbers increasing and several sold-out screenings.


The Old Gaiety Cinema

Sligo Film Society was first established in April 1944 when a branch of the Irish Film Society was set up at The Gaiety Cinema. The aim was to bring a monthly programme of outstanding films of every nationality, not normally screened in mainstream cinema, to Sligo. A committee of nine was elected with R.H.Campbell-Perry as Chairman and Anthony (Tony) P. Toher as Secretary.

However, the idea to bring the best of world cinema to Sligo is said to have been born in the 1930s when the late Tony Toher’s father, Thomas P. Toher, decided to screen films in a shed in the back of Tohers Chemist, formerly located on Stephen Street.

Sligo Film Society committee members with Tony Toher at access>CINEMA's 2014 VIEWING SESSIONS in The Model, Sligo

The society began by screening its programme in the Gaiety cinema and went on to showcase films in venues all over Sligo including the Hawk’s Well Theatre, the Glasshouse Hotel, the Yeats Memorial Building, IT Sligo and the Teacher’s Centre (now the ETB).

While the film programme was a form of entertainment for local people, the ambition of the committee was to also encourage an appreciation of the art of cinema.

This was fulfilled with the establishment of the RTC (IT Sligo) in 1970, when a group of film enthusiasts emerged and took over the running of SFS.

Many of these members still serve on the committee today and have been joined by several new members.  

Pain & Glory is the final film of Sligo Film Society's Autumn 2019 season

Sligo Film Society currently screens its film programme in partnership with The Model Cinema every Thursday evening at 8pm, with its annual film programme occurring over two seasons in Spring and Autumn.

To mark its 75th year, Sligo Film Society will host a wine reception for audience members on Thursday, December 19 prior to its screening of Pain & Glory by Pedro Almodóvar, the final screening of the Autumn 2019 season.


Edel Doherty, Chair of Sligo Film Society comments:
“We are delighted to be celebrating 75 years of bringing the very best of Irish and international cinema to Sligo. What connects both audience and committee member alike is a shared love for arthouse cinema where conversations flow post-screening in a friendly, inclusive manner. 75 years is a huge milestone and we look forward to celebrating it with our audience before Christmas.”

Congratulations to all the gang at Sligo Film Society on this significant birthday.