Proposed new cinemas

Proposed new cinemas

Postby zulutango » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:21 pm

I've read about two proposals lately in the local press. One is for a cinema on the North side (Ennis Road area, near Supermacs), which apparently the city council are not in favour of because it's not in the city centre. The other was for Catherine Street, which the council were likely to be more favourable to. However, it seemed a little bit speculative.

I think both would be good additions to the city. The north side certainly needs something like that as there is a very large population there, and a catchment that extends to Shannon and Ennis. But it's true that the city centre needs something too. A city centre cinema would do a lot to breath life into the city again, especially during late evening and night-time.

If i find the press reports, I'lll post them here.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby zulutango » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:06 pm

the following is from the Limerick Post.


City centre cinemas on agenda

Exclusive by Colum Coomey
Thursday, 28 January 2010 09:47

Catherine Street site proposed for multiplex

AFTER numerous false alerts, city centre cinemas are back on the agenda. The Limerick Post is privy to information that local developers are to approach Limerick City Council about the possibility of securing planning permission for a multi screen complex in Catherine Street.

The developers concerned had earlier failed to secure planning permission for an office block on the street.

The site is across the road from the Mid Western Health Board offices, and includes the former Desmond Arms pub.

Tom Fitzpatrick of Limerick Property Management Service, who acquired the properties on behalf of the developers, said: “They are looking at the viability of such a development and are hoping to discuss it with city planners in February”.

The project has been on hiatus since proposals to develop an office block were rejected by An Bord Pleanala last year.

He said that the developers, who include local businessman Noel Harrington, had reassessed plans.

“They acknowledge that there is little demand for apartments and offices, and are now looking at cinemas”.

The group will meet city planners ahead of making an application, due to the costly nature of the process.

Should the council give the green light-and they are expected to look favourably upon it- an operator is likely to be sought for the project. There are very few privately owned cinemas in Ireland, with most in the control of multi nationals and the highly successful Irish owned Ward Anderson group. An initial proposal to demolish some of the buildings on Catherine Street and construct an office block, was accepted by Limerick City Council.

There was an objection to this decision and the application was brought before An Bord Pleanala, where it was rejected on the basis that it would interfere with the protected structures of 35, 36 and 37 Catherine Street.

Limerick City Council planners indicated last year that they would favour cinemas in the city centre.

They had earlier turned down an application for 10-screens at the Ennis Road Retail Park, where there is now a revised application, as reported in last week’s issue, to build a seven screen cinema.

Kieran Reeves, planning officer for City Council, had told the Limerick Post that they had a preference for cinemas at a city centre location.

The cinema industry is going through a new lease of life, and managements report heavy bookings, particularly at weekends.

The Omniplex and Storm reported record returns from 3D blockbuster Avatar and Toy Story.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby CologneMike » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:19 pm

The city centre cinema is long overdue. :o

That location on Catherine Street would be in my opinion totally out character with that part of town.

The pedestrianised Bedford Row is the ideal spot for it.

Maybe NAMA and Noel Harrington could do a bit of horse trading here concerning these two sites.

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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby Griff » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:02 pm

CologneMike wrote:The city centre cinema is long overdue. :o

That location on Catherine Street would be in my opinion totally out character with that part of town.

The pedestrianised Bedford Row is the ideal spot for it.

Maybe NAMA and Noel Harrington could do a bit of horse trading here concerning these two sites.

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Have to agree - no way is that location on Catherine st right for a cinema ..also I cant see how they could create the theatres within that site and successfully retain the buildings that (correctly) cannot be knocked. Are there any plans/elevations to be seen ? I know what you mean about Bedford Row,much better location - ideally they would do a deal with the 2 nearby multi-story car parks to allow free parking to cinema goers.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby zulutango » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:47 pm

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.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:11 am

I think this is one of those slightly outside the box ideas that Limerick probably needs to rescue itself from slow decline. I think the Georgian area needs a combination of proper preservation - windows, pavements, lights etc - and innovative new uses that give it new life. This might spur the reuse and regeneration of that part of town, making Catherine St. a new central focus of the city, not to mention giving a bit more life to the refurbished Baker Place.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby Griff » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:26 am

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.

Parking and access easier on upper Catherine st ?... I cant agree - the reason why cinemas closed in towns originally is because people are lazy and prefer to park in out of town shopping centres. The Bedford Row location will suit people who live in town or can get easy access to the quays / Henry st = residents of the northside of the city.Mind you if the cinema proposal for the Ennis road site goes ahead it will make any site in town redundant. Another difficulty I have with Catherine st is that a 'cheap' looking building would look far more out of character in a Georgian setting than the already er.... modern looking Bedford row... I cant see a cinema developer spending a whole lot on the building design.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby KeepAnEyeOnBob » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:16 pm

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.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby CologneMike » Sun May 02, 2010 11:38 am

Nevada Smith Site

I know this is purely academic especially since Fordmount’s demise and it never got to the planning stage but Tom Phillips + Associates (Town Planners) did a 3-d visualisation / shadow analysis of the Nevada Smith property. They were also involved in the former Savoy redevelopment (second image) from which one could get a fair idea of the aspirations Fordmount might have had for a cinema complex here.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby PVC King » Mon May 03, 2010 9:04 am

Not so sure; cinema investment is often counter cylical as people in their 20's swap expensive meals for a film and chain dinner afterwards. Depending on who buys the large Vue chain from LLOYds then this sub-sector may respond to live demand before others.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby zulutango » Wed May 12, 2010 12:43 am

I think the viablility of a city centre cinema could depend on the population living within the city. And unfortunately, that is quite small. Then again, a city centre cinema could also be a stimulus to attracting people and further residential development to the city centre. Limerick is sore lacking in this regard, but the city is crying out for quality city centre accomodation, in my opinion. Carlton Apartments is the exception in that it was built to a high standard, and maintained to a high standard also. We need much more of this type of development.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby PoxyShamrock » Wed May 12, 2010 2:31 pm

I think it's ridiculous though that those (occupied) buildings on Bedford Row are being earmarked for a cinema when the old Dunnes Building and Liddy Street are left completely abandoned. :confused:
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby CologneMike » Thu May 13, 2010 12:48 pm

PoxyShamrock wrote:I think it's ridiculous though that those (occupied) buildings on Bedford Row are being earmarked for a cinema when the old Dunnes Building and Liddy Street are left completely abandoned. :confused:


What’s ridiculous about developing a cinema complex (including bars, cafes, restaurants, retail outlets etc.) on the new pedestrianized (car free) Bedford Row?

I think we now need to raise the bar on the quality of retailing etc. been offered along Bedford Row and Lower Thomas Street to follow up the excellent work done by the city council here.

The old Dunnes Building and the Liddy Street area will hopefully be part of a major masterplan for the redevelopment of the Arthur’s Quay.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby Tuborg » Thu May 13, 2010 11:46 pm

It is a disgrace that the old Dunnes premises has just been left to rot. There was a fairly disgusting stench emanating from it aswell when I walked past the other day. Another prominent access point to the city centre blighted by disused, shabby buildings. :rolleyes:

As for the cinema plan. I think Bedford Row is probably the best option. It could also help breathe a bit of life back into Sarsfield Street depending on how much property has been or will be bought up. I was also a bit surprised/disappointed by the quality of retailers that took up the units on Bedford Row. There really isn't a whole pile to attract the footfall that the city centre badly needs. Of course, the retail/office space on the site of the old central cinema has also been vacant since it was completed nearly 2 years ago.

A mixed use project as Mike suggested is the way to go here. Theres no point building more retail units that won't be filled The location is perfect for a cinema and there is ample car parking in the nearly multi storeys. Bedford Row would also be a decent spot for a couple of cafes, bars etc with plenty of space for outside seating. Thomas Street has definitely been a success in this regard.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby PVC King » Fri May 14, 2010 7:22 am

Like everything this project will be demand led and is completely unrelated to any other holding. If the owners can find a cinema anchor then the usual leisure sector suspects will follow; given the profile Munster rugby has given the City it would not be surprising to see some of the major UK restaurant chains buying into the project if the incentives were right. Unlike open retail this sector has performed very well over the past 2 years both on the demand side as people trade down from flash meals and wine bars as well as on the supply side with plenty of private equity available for the right concepts which has ensured that there is a solid pipeline of fresh new concepts.

This project would be a very useful for Limerick as it may attract a lot of punters into the City for another few hours into early evening allowing general retailers to increase the trading hours or trade in neighbouring streets and shopping centre. The difficult part is getting the cinema operator to sign up on terms that make sense in the medium term.
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Re: Proposed new cinemas

Postby CologneMike » Fri May 14, 2010 5:18 pm

Ennis Road Cinema Application Pending (Limerick Post)

Rebekah Commane

AN application for a seven screen cinema at the Ennis Road Retail Park - next to Dunnes - is pending, awaiting further information from the applicant, according to the Planning department of Limerick City Council. Under Limerick City Development Plan 2004-2010, the site in question is zoned for general purpose land use.

A spokesperson for the department told the Limerick Post that a request for further information from applicant MZM Holdings Ltd had been made on February 11 of this year, but that a response had not yet been received.

Included in the request for further information was the following:
- Submission of a TRICS (transport impacts of new developments) assessment for a multi-screen cinema of similar size and a more legible Cumulative Analysis.

The planning department says that the TRICS data was omitted from the ‘Accessibility and Traffic Generation Assessment,’ and that the cumulative analysis is difficult to read or interpret.

- The possibility of providing staff parking within the existing service yard to the rear of the building which would be unnecessary for cinema use is requested to be explored.

- The applicant is asked to make more appropriate and functional improvements to the existing bicycle spaces by relocating spaces near the proposed cinema. The bicycle spaces should be accommodated in a roofed area with adequate supervision and security.

- The Clonmacken Link Road is currently under consideration to be taken-in-charge by the City Council. A section of the roundabout at the site entrance is within the ownership of Callerview Properties Ltd., and so a request was made for identification of the land within the company’s ownership to allow for the legal conveyance of the net road space at the roundabout to Limerick City Council.

The response to the application by MZM Holdings specifies that “if the response to request for further information results in material change to the design, the Planning Authority may require a new public notice in an approved newspaper”.

Earlier this year, senior planning officer at the City Council, Kieran Reeves, told the Limerick Post that an earlier application for a 10 screen cinema by a Cork-based cinema operator, had been turned down, but that a new application had been made for seven screens.

It is understood that the new applicant is from Galway, where he already runs a cinema complex.

Mr Reeves again emphasised a preference for cinemas at a city centre location.

As exclusively reported in the Limerick Post earlier this year, a planning application is to be made to City Council for cinemas in Catherine Street, across from the Mid-Western Health Board headquarters.


Senior planning officer at the City Council, Mr Reeves again emphasised a preference for cinemas at a city centre location.


Hope the City Council stays on the ball with this.
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