Chicago’s 8th Annual Irish American Movie Hooley Returns for 2022

Image courtesy of Hibernian Media

If you believe it, the city of Chicago has more citizens of Irish ancestry than Boston, myself among them. That means we know our whiskey and we know how to party. As the Irish say, when a party gets rowdy, they call it a “hooley.” The Windy City has two upcoming opportunities to have that kind of cinematic party with the 8th annual Irish American Movie Hooley.  

Hibernian Media presents three special film selections for their 8th Annual Irish American Movie Hooley for consecutive weekends. The first run is hosted by Classic Cinemas’ Lake Theatre location in Oak Park from September 16th through 18th. The program runs again from September 23-25 at the lovely Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette. Tickets are available now at both event locations

Opening the Movie Hooley on Friday September 16th and Friday September 23rd will be Extra Ordinary, which The New York Times called “A Reluctant Ghostbuster in Ireland.” Rose, a mostly sweet and lonely Irish driving instructor, must use her supernatural talents to save the daughter of Martin (also mostly sweet and lonely) from a washed-up rock star who is using her in a Satanic pact to reignite his fame. Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward. and Will Forte star in this supernatural comedy.” The film will screen at 8PM on Friday night at both theatres and audiences are invited to chat with the stars and filmmakers after each screening.

Saturday night the 18th at Lake Theatre will feature the 8PM screening of the black comedy Redemption of a Rogue, winner of Galway Film Fleadh’s Best Irish First Feature and Best Irish Film at its world premiere. A bible, black comedy about a prodigal son returning to his hometown to seek salvation for his sins. This might be the story of Ireland’s most prodigal son of all time! Writer-director Philip Doherty will join the Oak Park audience on opening night as well.

Finally on Sunday at 5PM, Sept. 18th and 25th, the Hooley will present the Irish American documentary, The Boys from Kingbridgefrom Grammar School to Ground Zero, the uplifting story of how four lifelong friends from the same neighborhood in the Bronx lived through 911 at ground zero. The film portrays actual accounts, from four lifelong friends, who found themselves on the same block at The World Trade Center the day terror struck New York City. It tells firsthand what they saw, heard, felt, and did on that morning of September 11, 2001. Director Thom MacNamara will join the Oak Park audience for this premiere.

Celebrating its eighth year, the Movie Hooley has introduced audiences to the very best in Irish and Irish American filmmaking, with opportunities to meet each individual writer, director, or producer who have brought their films to Chicago for the weekend, this year has the Hooley relocating from downtown venues to two suburban theaters that appreciate old style and are rooted in their vibrant neighborhoods. The Lake Theatre and Wilmette Theatre epitomize those traits. 

The annual Movie Hooley is presented by Hibernian Media, a local public charity dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Irish culture. Hibernian also produces a pair of weekly Irish American radio programs, their community web blog, an annual pilgrimage to Ireland, and a variety of other film, TV, and live concerts.

Sponsors of the 8th Annual Irish American Movie Hooley include The Hilton Chicago, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and local pubs bordering each movie house. For more information about the Movie Hooley, visit Facebook or their main website:

Written by Don Shanahan

DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic writing here on Film Obsessive as the Editor-in-Chief and Content Supervisor for the film department. He also writes for his own website, Every Movie Has a Lesson. Don is one of the hosts of the Cinephile Hissy Fit Podcast on the Ruminations Radio Network and sponsored by Film Obsessive. As a school teacher by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Indie Critics and a voting member of the nationally-recognized Critics Choice Association, Online Film Critics Society, North American Film Critics Association, International Film Society Critics Association, Internet Film Critics Society, Online Film and TV Association, and the Celebrity Movie Awards.

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