Mount Merrion’s Stella Cinema to get the flick

The former Stella Cinema in Mount Merrion – a landmark in the area – looks set for demolition with planning permission now being sought from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to replace it with a purpose-built convenience store.

Designed by RH Dowling, it was built in 1955 for the O’Grady family, who were also proprietors of the Stella in Rathmines. It closed in 1976 and lived on as a furniture shop. Flanagan’s of Mount Merrion, run by Peter Flanagan of Buncrana, furnished many homes in south Dublin during the boom, as well as holiday homes overseas. It has since gone into liquidation.

The property, on Deerpark Road, next to Kiely’s pub, is on a site of three-quarters of an acre and is zoned for “mixed use neighbourhood centre”.

Chris and Niall Power Smith – the latter a trustee director of Irish Landmark Trust – are looking to replace the Stella with a two-storey convenience shop of more than 3,000sq m (gross), with a 16m “feature brick-faced tower”. Designed by Cathal O’Neill, former professor of architecture at UCD, the proposed development would also include a first-floor café and basement carpark with 89 spaces. An existing pedestrian route through the site is to be maintained.