LIMERICK could be home to a ‘National Film Museum’ under plans unveiled by the City VEC.
The Cecil Street-based educational organisation is already seeking to redevelop the old Athenaeum building to bring in a new cinema, digital lounge, cafe and exhibition space - a move which would see a permanent cinema in Limerick for the first time in more than 10 years.
And at Friday’s meeting, it was revealed they also want to include a National Film Centre as part of the complex.
Although the concept is at an early stage, Declan McLaughlin, who founded the Limerick Film Club, has agreed to donate memorabilia, including posters and other pieces to the museum.
Mr McLaughlin owns the largest private collection of memorabilia in Ireland.
Chief executive of the City VEC Paul Patton said: “Declan McLaughlin, who is on the steering committee has a sizeable collection, the largest private collection of film memorabilia. A huge amount of that consists of memorabilia unique to Limerick. The collection would be put on public display.”
“It is another idea to benefit the city. We have to aim high and see what happens.”
The overall Theatre Royal project - which could create up to 40 jobs - has moved to the second stage, after full planning permission was granted by Limerick City Council.
Mr Patton said that Tim O’Connor, the former secretary to the Irish president, and the ambassador to the USA has agreed to give his services to the €5.3m project.
The chairman of the City VEC Denis McCarthy welcomed the museum plan.
“If you go back a generation, you would see queues around the city, in particular in Nicholas Street. I remember on a Sunday evening, the queues went out beyond the castle. People of St Mary’s Park and the surrounding area used to queue for miles around,” he told the Limerick Leader
“For young teenagers in the city,there was a big social aspect of going to the films. Things obviously have changed, but it would be nice to bring a bit of it back,” Cllr McCarthy concluded.