Planned Limerick cinema should be ‘integral’ part of culture plan

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

LABOUR city councillor Joe Leddin has welcomed the council’s decision to back the proposed €5.3m cinema in Upper Cecil Street.

LABOUR city councillor Joe Leddin has welcomed the council’s decision to back the proposed €5.3m cinema in Upper Cecil Street.

Limerick City VEC are seeking to transform two units at the old Theatre Royal into a new film house and digital hub for students.

And Cllr Leddin says this project - slated to be complete for 2014 - should form an “integral” part of the city’s plans for the lead into the City of Culture Programme.

The former Royal Cinema originally opened in 1947, before closing in 1985.

As well as a four-screen cinema comprising 384 seats, the project will see studios, a digital lounge, a public foyer and a cafe.

Thirty construction jobs will be created, and a further 20 permanent jobs are expected if the facility gets funding.

Cllr Leddin believes the possibilities for the new facility are endless.

“We hear so much today about the ‘Smart Economy’ and the need to constantly up-skill people in new technology. This digital hub will have the capacity to deliver significant benefits in the area of social media and web development while also providing the essential infrastructure to enable and assist potential mobile technology and animation companies,” he explained.

The southside councillor - also a member of the VEC - said this project should form part of Limerick City’s bid for the prestigious title of European City of Culture come 2020.

Those behind the scheme say it will attract on average 1,500 extra people into the city centre each week.