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The Beatles live: Adelphi Cinema, Dublin, Ireland

The Beatles appeared in concert in the Republic of Ireland on just one occasion, with two performances at the Adelphi Cinema in Dublin. Each was seen by a capacity crowd of 2,304 people.

The date was part of their 1963 Autumn Tour. They flew from London to Dublin Airport, where they were interviewed by Frank Hall for the RTE television show In Town, which was broadcast later that evening. Following the interview they were taken to the Gresham Hotel by Harry Lush, the Adelphi’s manager.

At 1pm they arrived at the Adelphi. A number of reporters were also at the venue, and The Beatles gave a number of interviews. Although they checked out the stage and auditorium prior to showtime, there was no soundcheck or rehearsal.

The Beatles performed a standard 10-songs set throughout their Autumn Tour: ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘From Me To You’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Boys’, ‘Till There Was You’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ and ‘Twist And Shout’.

The Beatles' 1963 winter tour programme

So the Beatles finished their first show and the crowd just shouted for more, more, more. The Beatles just could not get off the stage, they had to stay put. By this time there were 2,304 people looking for encore after encore. Time marched on and the crowd outside gathered for the late show. The crowds met leaving and entering from Abbey Street.

I thought the doors of the Adelphi would collapse with the crowds, and the Hideout upstairs would come tumbling down. The police arrived to keep a kind of order. Fighting started because some wanted to get out and others clambered to get in. Cars were overturned and one car set on fire.

I can also recall people on top of the roof taking photographs of the commotion below in Abbey Street. The crowds spilled out into O’Connell Street and windows were broken in Clearys, leaving a trail of damage in O’Connell Street. We were at a loss for future shows. What would we do? We never thought they would be so popular.

For future shows an answer was found. After the first show we would let the crowd out through Prussia Street at the back of the Adelphi and up to the Capitol Cinema, which was owned by the Farley brothers. That was the way the Beatles escaped that night.

The crowds still gathered during the second show. Many just to get a glimpse or photograph. Well, they [The Beatles] were in our care and we had to look after their welfare.

We asked the Independent [newspaper] to help out. They said the easiest thing would be to use one of their vans, so the boys could walk up the stairs and jump into the van and be taken to the Gresham.

The Beatles were all so nice, courteous and answered all the questions. They had respect for their seniors and called you sir. I look back on the day The Beatles came to Dublin as one of the shiniest days in my career.

Harry Lush
Manager, Adelphi Cinema

Following the concerts, Record Mirror reporter Peter Jay wrote of the concerts:

Dublin was fantastic. The fans there really do go mad. Girls who fainted in the crowds outside the theatre were carried into their seats by attendants. Outside there was the biggest riot yet. It’s a fact that cars were overturned and the police had to make several arrests. Inside it was incredible for noise and appreciation.

Observing the events was Alun Owen, the scriptwriter hired by producer Walter Shenson to write the script for The Beatles’ first film A Hard Day’s Night. Owen flew with The Beatles from London to Dublin, and spent three days shadowing them to observe their characters and lifestyle. At the time the film was untitled, and it wasn’t decided whether it would be fact or fiction.

In the evening The Beatles stayed in the Gresham Hotel for fear of being mobbed by the fans outside.

The Adelphi Cinema, which stood at 98-101 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, closed in November 1995. It was later demolished, and a car park for Arnotts Department Store was built in its place.

Last updated: 25 January 2024
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