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Gala screening, with live music, of the Irish premiere of the newly restored The Signal Tower (1924), last screened in Cork (at the Coliseum) in August 1925

1 Nov 2023

The lights dim, the projector clicks on, and as you lift your face towards the screen, panoramic images sweep over you: of stunning Californian vistas, of majestic trains traversing steep mountain inclines, of the men that work the intricate machinery that allows humans to conquer Nature…

Your journey–up into those mountains, along train tracks, deeper into the forest where a remote railroad outpost and a fairy-tale cottage await (soon to become sites of malevolence, mayhem and murder)–will be a wonderous one, filled with tension and thrills…

And while your eyes feast on this spectacle unfolding on the screen, your ears are filled with the sound of the live musical accompaniment: sometimes soothing, sometimes even humorous, but inevitably building to powerful crescendos of unbearable tension and then… release…


There’s nothing like seeing a silent film as it should be seen: in a pristine print projected on a big screen and accompanied by expertly judged and effortlessly performed live music. Perhaps audiences of 1925, watching The Signal Tower  (1924, Clarence Brown) in MacCurtain Street’s Coliseum cinema and listening to the live music performed by the Coliseum orchestra, experienced a little of what I’ve described …

On Tuesday November 21st, in the Aula Maxima, we give you the chance to relive what those Cork audiences experienced almost one hundred years ago, with a free gala screening of The Signal Tower, sumptuously restored by master restorer Robert Byrne (San Francisco Silent Film Festival), in collaboration with Photoplay Productions, and accompanied by a live musical performance by maestro Stephen Horne.

Limited availability of seats so register your interest in advance by using:

Read more about the event in the Echo newspaper article with Dr. Gwenda Young here.

Or follow us on Twitter/X: @uccfilmstudies for updates

This event has been made possible by generous funding from ZEUS Scooters; by the Department of Film and Screen Media, UCC; by the Department of Music, UCC; by the School of Film, Music and Theatre, UCC; and by The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science, UCC.

We acknowledge, with deep appreciation, the generosity of Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stanbury of Photoplay Productions and of Robert Byrne and the team of San Francisco Silent Film Festival, who have provided us with the restored print for the screening. Thanks, too, to Stephen Horne, silent film accompanist, who will perform on the evening.

Signal Poster


Department of Film and Screen Media

Scannánaíocht agus Meáin Scáileán

O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland