Bedford Row would be preferable but would presumably require use of a site in the centre of the block - not just the site on the corner.
zulutango wrote:Agree that Bedford Row might be a more suitable location, but as it stands the proposal is for Catherine Street because that is the property that the developer has. If there was no other location in the city, I think it could work. One advantage it may have over Bedford Row is that it may be easier to get parking and access for cinema-goers, and that is something that modern cinemas need. Also, it's a chicken and egg situation. A cinema in Upper Catherine Street would do an awful lot to revitalise that part of the city, which is laregely derelict. There would of course be the issues relating to the Georgian heritage but it is better that something happens up there, or else we may as well encase that part of town in a glass box, or worse again, let the whole thing fall down.
I wouldn't quite agree with the "largely derelict" argument for the area in general but rather just that particular side of that block of Catherine Street (although partly exacerbated by the closed businesses pending the development). The area is certainly under-utilised and under-appreciated, but if you observe the area during the day, there's plenty of footfall as it is between the railway station and park, and the city centre, plus there are local businesses (incl. on Parnell St. - also contributes to footfall) and the Pery Hotel.
It would provide another centre of interest between the People's Park/Railway Station and the edge of the shopping area which sort of extends a further block up Catherine Street from Roches Street as it is (for all the talk of the city centre's doom, it holds a plethora of useful shops/businesses you can't go to at a shopping mall and won't ever see at one). So the area in question would be only one/two blocks up from that, and not much over 5 mins walk from the O'Connell St./William St. centre. Plus it would probably bring more life to Tait Square too, again only a block away.
There should be a strategy to actively encourage the "downmarket" areas of the city centre, some of which despite crummy signage and crumbling buildings, have plenty of businesses (even if some are downmarket) and footfall. They are certainly as alive as Cruises Street is these days! Unlike central areas where units are becoming vacant, the likes of Parnell Street have new businesses opening, not a bad thing when these are businesses whose profits go to local people, not British high street chains. Certainly a bit of attention should be given in order to slowly increase the quality of these areas, rather than people simply wanting to raze them because they seem messy and decrepid. As it is, there are businesses all the way from the Station to the city centre via Parnell St., Wickham St. and Upper Thomas St./William St. Rather than build Cruises Street, it would have been better to years ago remodel William St. Even now I would suggest that slowly the street is improving in quality of shops, but I do not think it is through any action of the authorities. Getting Willam St. mall filled with Guineys removed a major blot but there's much more to be done.
To some extent I think the Opera Centre is irrelevant, as it simply is a new location for consolidating high street stores already in the area of Cruises St., Arthur's Quay, start of O'Connell/William St. An area that has steadily been going downhill and that mostly has ugly modern buildings like Brown Thomas, the ACCbank/chemist block and vacant units on Sarsfield St., Penneys, Burger King, Cruises St., Arthur's Quay, etc. Just leave that area to its own devices (although preferably finding an alternative for the remaining Georgian buildings on Mulgrave St.) and focus on the older city centre parts that are still very much alive despite looking a bit past their best (a block bounded by Gerald Griffin St/Parnell St., William St., O'Connell St., and Mallow St.). These have much more potential to take off and provide something different from the suburban shopping malls. A mere hint is given by the facelift to Catherine and Thomas St.
I've probably rambled on a bit, but if you don't understand, then please take time to actually walk around these areas during business hours or around lunchtime.
But in summary, there are plenty of worse situations for a city centre cinema than on Catherine St. near Glentworth St. and I would expect it to be a shot in the arm for the area, but also consolidate a slightly more southern "old" city centre focus in general.