Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

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Another piece on the former Central Cinema on Bedford Row (Limerick Post)

Curtain finally comes down on Central cinema

ANOTHER prominent Limerick landmark is about to face the demolition squad.

The former Grand Central cinema, renamed the Central Studio in 1972, is to make way for shops and offices, designed to blend in with the new look Bedford Row.

Of Limerick’s cinemas of yesteryear, The Royal alone stands, with the Lyric, Carlton, City Theatre and Savoy having fallen by the wayside.

Up to recently, The Central accommodated the Belltable Film Club.

Limerick businessmen John Costello and Paul O’Brien are the men behind the new venture on Bedford Row.

Mr Costello had been associated with the Royal George Hotel and other businesses in city and county.

History books show that the building on which the Central is located was originally built as a Primitive Wesleyan Methodist preaching house, in 1812.

It is understood that the facade of the church, to the rear of the former cinema, is to be retained.

The Central is to be completely renovated to provide accommodation on four floors, suitable for retail/offices.

No Name, who had occupied the ground floor, have moved to nearby Sarsfield Street, to facilitate the new development.

Letting agent Pat Kearney of Rooneys, told the Limerick Post that negotiations were in train with a number of retailers.

“This is a very exciting project and given the changes that have taken place in the general Bedford Row/Henry Street area in recent times, is sure to attract the attention of leading retailers..

This will be a superb modern premises when completed providing spacious accommodation throughout and with a most attractive façade and courtyard elevation, with side access from Bedford Row.

As exclusively revealed in the Limerick Post last year, there are also plans to create a new street, from Shannon Street to Bedford Row, which will further enhance the area.

The Central Studio building had been owned by Mr Tom Anderson

John O’Shaughnessy

The pictures below show the current sorry state of the Central, its best days really are a long way behind it, the 2nd image shows the dingy laneway between the cinema and the Bank of Ireland. From here you can easily identify the original chapel behind the 1920s pebble dashed cinema front, obviously it has been heavily altered with little of the original features remaining, note also the crude fire escape!. Its thought that the chapel facade is intact from the 1st floor upwards!

Its interesting also that the writer picks up on the Shannon Street proposal, last year there was a lot of speculation that Limerick based developers were in talks about acquiring a number of properties including the stella ballroom and myles breen’s pub with a view to developing a new shopping complex similar to Cruises Street.

Theres a few issues with this, firstly the site is no way as big as the former Cruises hotel site and a number of properties to the rear of the hotel were also purchased as part of the project. Secondly any talk of this new “street” linking up with Bedford Row looks to be a non runner as the retail side of the Savoy redevelopment fronting onto Bedford Row is well underway.

It remains just speculation as there has been no movement on it in the meantime and all the buisnesses on the site are still operating!

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