€735,000 grant awarded to complete Galway’s arthouse cinema project

Picture Palace ran into series of obstacles after first sod turned in 2009

Galway's long-delayed arthouse cinema has been granted completion funding of €735,000 by Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys.

The Picture Palace, on which work had stalled, will be "project managed" by Galway City Council, Ms Humphreys said.

The cinema, spearheaded by film-maker Lelia Doolan, ran into a series of obstacles after the first sod was turned on it in 2009.

It was designed by architect Tom de Paor, with a window by the late Patrick Scott.


Galway is Unesco City of Film, and Ms Humphreys said she was "delighted" a plan had been agreed to complete it; involving a partnership between her department, Galway City Council and Solas Picture Palace.

She said the film and television industry was worth about €72 million to the local economy and employs over 600 people full-time.

The three-screen cinema, close to the Galway City Museum and Spanish Arch, will have a cafe and bookshop, Ms Humphreys said.

Her department has already granted almost €2 million towards the project, originally budgeted at €6 million, on a site bought by Galway City Council. The Western Development Commission gave it a loan, and Solas Picture Palace has fundraised.

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times