LIMERICK’s city centre has a new cinema at last - in 69 O’Connell Street.
The Belltable Arts Centre, which recently reopened following an extensive redevelopment of their auditorium, were awarded funding by the Arts Council and Irish Film Board to the tune of €75,000 to purchase brand new digital cinema equipment for the venue under the ‘cinema digitisation scheme’.
The equipment has been installed and is of a similar standard to the cinemas on the outskirts of the city centre.
The technology is similar to that used in the Irish Film Institute in Dublin and to celebrate this major investment, the Belltable is hosting a month of cinema beginning this September in its new auditorium, called ‘Belltable Cine-Club’ and featuring a superb selection of movies, from mainstream cinema, including Martin Sheen’s ‘The Way’, directed by his son Emilo Estevez; Terrence Malick’s ‘Tree of Life’ - which features Brad Pitt and Sean Penn; Ian Power’s The Runway and the much-talked about documentary, ‘Project Nim’.
“This technology will allow us to screen movies to a very high standard, to the same quality as the other cinemas in Limerick or the IFI in Dublin,” explained Gill Fenton of the Belltable this week.
“The Belltable Film Club has always been an integral part of the programme here, but we can now produce a programme that is worthy of this specialist equipment and get the best programme in place that we can,” she added.
The ‘digital arthouse’ cinema season will begin on Tuesday, September 6 and run into October. From September 6-10 a different movie will run every night in the arts centre.
The Belltable, who appointed new artistic director Gerry Barnes in July, are celebrating 30 years of the venue being open this year, and Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan will officially open the newly refurbished building next Monday.
A retrospective exhibition detailing the rich cultural history of the last 30 years of the Belltable is also currently taking place in the arts centre.