"About the GPO Arcade, does it strike anyone as utterly bizarre the location of the arcade, or rather how/why it opens onto Princes St, which is little more than a back alley.
Did the Metropole or Capital cinemas use to have an entrance onto the st, as this would probably explain it. Even then, there seems little point to to locating its entrance there, unless Princes St led somewhere when the arcade was built in the late 20s/30s."
Good point indeed.
The answer is no.
The arcade was developed after 1916 fires changed the ground plan forever here and it runs out to Princes St there for no, apparently, good reason I can fathom. Was the arcade developed by the Post Office, certainly the Government had much space on the GPO side until fairly recently?
Woolworths were the big tenant on the other side, giving an alternative route into the arcade through their front door further down Henry Street.
The La Scala Theatre (cinema really), later called Capitol was built with the facade slightly closer to O'Connell St than opposite the arcade exit and it made no reference to it, if I recall correctly. The Metropole Cinema came somewhat later but neither ever had direct access to the arcade, - the street was always in the way. It was a rat run for vans and bikes going up and down to Independent newspapers printing works further down the street and crossing over was a tricky thing to do, even if you had not been in the Princes Bar.