This photograph shows a view of O’Connell Street from Nelson’s Pillar taken on Monday 7th September 1942. We are always hearing how bleak Ireland was during the 1940s and 50s but to be honest I wouldn’t mind a good look around the shops on this block. The Thom’s Street Directory for 1942 lists the businesses as the Saxone Shoe Company; Dunn & Co., hatters; Rowntree & Co. Ltd., cocoa, chocolate and confectionary manufacturers; Jameson & Co., jewellers; Bobby Morris, ladies’ hairdressers and Clifford’s and Maxwell’s, tailors. It also includes Jordan’s Billiard Saloon.
The print is actually quite small but I don’t mind that the close-ups are slightly blurred as they still give a real sense of the street showing cyclists, delivery trucks, people chatting and going about their everyday lives.
According to The Irish Times for the date you could go and see the following films at O’Connell Street cinemas: the Metropole was showing a farce called Charley’s American Aunt with Jack Benny, Kay Francis, James Ellison and Anne Baxter. The Savoy was showing Gone with the Wind and the Carlton featured Elsie Janis and Wendy Barrie in Women in War. Jim Keenan’s Dublin Cinemas: A Pictorial Selection (2005) and Marc Zimmerman’s History of Dublin Cinemas (2007) provide an excellent account of Dublin’s many cinemas.