Last year we decided to throw open the doors of the IFI with an Open Day of free screenings as our way of saying thanks for sticking with us during the major redevelopment we had undertaken the previous summer. When Cinema 3 was officially opened, we thought that an Open Day would be the perfect way to celebrate. The response to it was immense. Audiences came in their thousands and all tickets were snapped up within 60 minutes. The staff also really enjoyed the day, giving office personnel a rare chance to meet the audience and be on the front line. So when we debriefed after the event last year, everyone was in agreement that we'd have to bring it back again in 2011.
Shifting the month from February to June, and offering even more films than last year, the Open Day's lead programmer Kevin Coyne pulled together a varied selection of films that really showed the breadth of the ongoing programming at the IFI, incorporating strands such as IFI Family, IFI Stranger than Fiction and IFI Irish Film Archive. Audiences clearly responded to it as we had people queuing outside from a little after 7am to ensure that they would get their chosen tickets. First in line was avid cinemagoer John Egan, who was presented with an IFI Gift Voucher for this dedication!