Stella cinema set for reboot in Rathmines

Dublin venue to reopen with burlesque-luxe interior and cocktail bar after restoration

Archive video: Look inside one of Dublin’s oldest cinemas, the Stella in Rathmines. Closed to the public in 2004 and now for sale, it first opened its doors in 1923. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

Cinema-lovers of all ages will be happy to hear the Stella cinema in Rathmines, Dublin 6, is coming back and soon, probably this summer. The Dublin-based Press Up Entertainment Group has purchased the 94-year-old cinema and is well on the way to returning it to its former glory. The cinema will revert to its original style of one large venue distinguished by its newly-restored decorative ceiling.

The plan is to screen blockbuster films and art-house movies. The interior will be highly comfortable with bespoke furniture and stylish interiors, evoking a burlesque-luxe ambiance. Uniquely, the building will also house a cocktail bar with its own entrance.

Rooftop bars

The next year will be a busy time for directors Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan of the Press Up group, with two hotels and two new restaurant/bars already in the pipeline and perhaps more to come. The one theme running across all the new businesses is that they will have rooftop bars and restaurants, following the latest trend in New York.

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The newest bar and restaurant, Dollard & Co, will open this summer beside the Clarence Hotel. The crowds are expected to flock to the new city venue with its outdoor views over the Liffey. Another attraction will be an upmarket food outlet on the ground floor, as well as a number of other attractions due to be unveiled later this year.

On the corner of Aungier Street and Digges Lane Upper, the former Aungier House bar has just been added to the Press Up portfolio and will open as a bar later in the year after being closed for the best part of 20 years. The redbrick building, sold on behalf of the city council for about €800,000, will require substantial refurbishment.

Super-fast wifi

The two hotels in the pipeline will encourage use by local communities by offering lobby cafes and free “full-fat” (super-fast) wifi to everyone and sockets to keep them up to speed. The 41-bed hotel in Ranelagh will have a small in-house cinema as well as meeting rooms. Unusually, it will have no parking but easy access to Luas and bus services.

The other hotel, at the junction of the North Wall and Castleforbes Road, will be a conversion of an old redbrick warehouse which will find new life as a independent 60-bed boutique hotel. Deep in the docklands, the hotel will be located close to the Central Bank and is expected to become the local food and watering venue for the many corporate entities in this area. It too will have a rooftop bar with great views up and down the river.

The Press Up Entertainment Group was founded in 2010 and its first bar was the exclusive Vintage Cocktail Club on Crown Alley in Dublin. Also in the group are the Workman’s Bar, Bison Bar, Liquor Room, Captain America’s, the Clarence Hotel, the Dean Hotel, Angelina’s and Wowburger, to name just some.