The gifted Billy Chapman

Strokestown on Film is adapted from the film collections of the late Billy Chapman, who died in Strokestown in 1958. Mr. Chapman and his wife owned and ran the Club Cinema in Strokestown in the 1940s. The Chapmans were very popular and highly respected residents of Strokestown, where they are fondly remembered by the people of the town. Billy and Teresa Chapman built the Club Cinema in Strokestown in 1940. Speaking at the DVD launch last Friday night Mr. George Reynolds noted that the construction of the cinema in 1940 demonstrates the Derry native’s enthusiasm and determination. Material for non-essential construction was difficult to acquire during the World War II emergency. Billy Chapman was born in Derry in 1902 and was one of a large and very gifted family. Mr. Chapman moved to Strokestown in the early 1920s where he was apprenticed to a plasterer. He left for America in 1929. Mr. Chapman’s American adventure coincided with the Great Depression that followed the 1929 Wall Street Crash. He returned to Ireland and to Strokestown in 1936.