50th Anniversary of First Moon Landing at Sporting Emporium, Dublin


Date(s) - 04/07/2019 - 30/09/2019

Sporting Emporium





On 20 July 1969, a historical milestone took place: Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. Here, he spoke his now-famous words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Sending two astronauts into space, landing smoothly on the moon and returning them safely to earth was a dream many believed to be impossible. To mark the 50th Anniversary of this historic event, Dublin artists, Pervaneh Matthews and Frank O’Dea are hosting a joint exhibition entitled “50th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing” for the months of July, August and September 2019 with portraits of those astronauts and lunar landscapes at the ‘Sporting Emporium Casino’ at 5 Anne’s Lane, South Anne Street (just off Grafton Street), Dublin 2.

On April 10, 1964, 20-year-old British sci-fi fan David Threlfall placed the first wager of his life: Stg £10 (just under a week’s pay today) that U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s historic 1961 moon landing prediction (“before this decade is out…”) would come true. Threlfall’s was the first official wager in the Space Race, and the odds were not in his favor: Bookmakers William Hill allowed him odds of 1,000 to 1 “for any man, woman or child, from any nation on Earth, being on the Moon, or any other planet, star or heavenly body of comparable distance from Earth, before January, 1971.” Finally, on July 21, 1969, David Threlfall’s 1,000-to-1 wager paid off, transforming him into a front-page celebrity. Whisked to a TV studio in London, he and the staff there watched the live coverage of the moon landing. After the module landed but before Neil Armstrong’s famous first stride (“That’s good enough for us,” a Hill rep said), he was handed a check for stg£10,000 – a fortune in those days! Though gracious in defeat and praising the astronauts, bookmakers across Britain mourned. “We paid out over stg£100,000 (overall),” a Hill spokesman later observed, “and were perhaps the only people not entirely delighted to see that particular feat of human exploration and ingenuity achieved.”

Fearing that the Soviets might get there first, it is perhaps also one of NASA’s greatest gambles and it paid off! So it is fitting that this special 50th anniversary exhibition take place at the Sporting Emporium – Ireland’s largest and most luxurious casino.

The Apollo Moon Programme has been called the last optimistic act of the 20thcentury. Over a three year period between 1969 and 1972, twelve men made the longest and most eccentric of all journeys to mankind. These astronauts have been captured in sepia watercolour portraits by Pervaneh Matthews. To compliment these portraits of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the other moon walkers, O’Dea will showcase some of his lunar landscape oil paintings and limited edition prints. Also on display will be a selection of moon themed art by special guest artists as well as some news and magazine memorabilia.

Also, for those of you that would like to acquire an actual piece of the moon, there will be an opportunity to see (and purchase) a genuine piece of lunar meteorite in a presentation case on opening night. Curated by Balla Bán Art Gallery, the official opening reception will take place on Thursday 4th July 2019 from 6pm (to 7:30pm) at the Sporting Emporium Casino in South Anne’s Lane, Dublin, by Astronomy Ireland Chairman, David Moore. exhibition continues until end of September 2019.

Further details/enquiries: Frank O’Dea. Email: odea.frank@gmail.com or 0876622234


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