My favourite cinema – hell, one of my favourite places in Dublin – is under threat of closing after its landlord doubled the rent. The gorgeous Light House Cinema in Smithfield Dublin is beautifully designed, with an airy, modern café, a stunning exhibition area and sumptuous screens. Following Smithfield’s recent make-over and the lovely restaurants in the area, it’s a gorgeous place to visit.
And of course, the films are a huge plus too. The arthouse cinema shows lots of independent and foreign language films that aren’t played elsewhere, save perhaps the IFI. The Light House received grants from the Department of Arts and the Cultural Cinema Consortium, a joint initiative of the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board, totalling €1.75 million when it was being fitted out. And though it took a while to build up its audience, this year the cinema has seen its attendance figures reach an all-time high.
However, landlord John Flynn doubled its annual rent last May from €100,000 a year to €200,000. The directors of the cinema have withheld a portion of the rent charged since it was raised last May, and Flynn has now issued a wind-up petition against the cinema.
There have been several shops and restaurants in the area that have closed already due to the recession (which begs the question of how on earth the rent could be doubled), & if the cinema closes it’ll have a huge knock-on effect on other businesses in the area. It’ll also just be a huge loss to cinema-goers, as it’s the most beautiful, modern cinema out there & offers a unique experience.
I’ll be following this story, but for now there’s a Facebook petition supporting the Light House Cinema (of course there is – if a cinema is forced to close & it isn’t on Facebook, it never really happened.) But hell, joining it can’t hurt, so get on & support this stunner of a cinema.