My favourite cinema, & indeed one of my favourite spots in the city, is set to close following a wind-up order made by The High Court. This announcement comes after weeks of uncertainty after landlord John Flynn had threatened to close to cinema when it couldn’t pay its annualrent, which had doubled in the past year. This article from RTE gives all the details surrounding the case:
The petition to wind up the cinema was issued by its landlord, John Flynn following a dispute over rent. The cinema said Mr Flynn doubled the annual rent from €100,000 to €200,000 in May last year and said it was not in a position to pay the increased rent.
Lawyers for the cinema told the High Court today that it had been hoped the Smithfield Quarter would develop in a way that it never did.
The court was told that mediation had been rejected and that exhaustive attempts to resolve the matter had been unsuccessful.
Lawyers for Mr Flynn said the cinema had debts of more than €150,000 in respect of rents and services. The court heard Mr Flynn is of the view that the cinema is insolvent and unable to pay its debts. Ms Justice Mary Laffoy made the order winding up the company and appointed a liquidator.
The four-screen cinema opened in May 2008 and employed 20 people. It benefited from Government grants worth €1.75m.
In a statement, the cinema said: ‘Regretfully, Light House Cinema’s best efforts to resolve the issue of rent with its landlord have failed and proposed mediation rejected. The landlord’s Petition for the Winding Up of Light House Cinema was heard in the High Court this morning and a liquidator was appointed. Light House Cinema is now closed. On behalf of all of the former staff of the cinema, we would like to sincerely thank everybody who has supported us over the last three years. We’ve enjoyed showing some great films, in a wonderful space in Smithfield, to appreciative audiences.’
Meanwhile, Director of the Light House Cinema Neil Connolly said he is disappointed that the efforts to keep the cinema open were unsuccessful.He said that the rent for the cinema had been negotiated in very different times.
The Cultural Cinema Consortium, a strategic partnership between the Irish Film Board and The Arts Council which is an investor in the cinema said it will not be commenting at this time.
Minister for Arts, Tourism and Culture Jimmy Deenihan said previously that the cinema might have to pay back the money to the State or alternatively he said a consortium involving the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board could run an art house cinema on the site.