New cinema to open near O2 in Dublin at end of March

Mon, Jan 23, 2012, 00:00

DUBLIN IS to get a new cinema to add to the Light House cinema which reopened its doors to the public over the weekend.

Point Pictures will open at the end of March near the O2 with an offering of up to 12 cinema screens and the capacity to host inter-national premieres. The cinema is the first Odeon venture in the Republic of Ireland.

Cinema owner Harry Crosbie said it was the only major construction project in Dublin at present currently employing 100 people and will employ 75 people when it is finished.

He maintains the Point Village will employ 2,000 people when it is finished when all the offices are occupied. The cinema will target local audiences with the growing number of people living in the Docklands. Packages will be offered to those going to the O2 and the Grand Canal Theatre along with those who are staying in the Gibson Hotel.

Mr Crosbie said it was “amazing” that the O2 had outsold Madison Square Garden and the Grand Canal Theatre has outperformed all expectations despite the recession.

The cinema complex is expected to include a shopping centre with Dunnes Stores as its anchor tenant, he says.

Both sides went to court in 2010 when Dunnes Stores withdrew a proposal to open a supermarket on the site, but the issue was resolved out of court.

Mr Crosbie revealed that he was in direct negotiations with Dunnes Stores’ owner Margaret Heffernan about it becoming the anchor tenant for the site.

“I’m hopeful we will engage in the next few weeks in an opening strategy,” he said.

The operators are also looking for large food and drink operators for the complex.

The independent Light House in Smithfield opened on Friday night with eight screenings. A large number of people turned up for the first screening at 5.30pm.

The arthouse cinema was taken over by Element Pictures from its previous operators who were forced to close because of escalating rents.

Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan said the reopened Light House was proof of the Government’s commitment to “leverage Nama projects for cultural dividends”.