The future of Smithfield looks bleak without the light house

Sad news yesterday after the High Court wound up the operating company for the Light House Cinema which was unable to pay rent on the building. It does seem very naive that the company running the Lighthouse signed a lease that would see the rent double to €200,000, giving that the property market was already in decline in 2007.

The opening of the Cinema had bought new live to the Smithfield area and was easily accessible by Luas. In total the venue, has received close to €2 million in public funding, As part of planning permission Fusano Properties had to set aside 80,000sq ft of cultural space, and  a planning clause dictates that the building must remain an art house cinema. The Smithfield area despite many new well designed apartment units along one side of the square, has never really managed to create a community spirit. The Chief O’Neills hotel has been closed for some time plus many retail units on Duck Lane. The new government along with planners and Dublin City Council must work to ensure the area does not degenerate any further.

Prior to the election arts spokespersons from all the parties attended the hustings at The Project Arts Centre, which was overbooked by members of all sectors of the arts. Every single spokesperson that day gave a firm commitment to the arts and particularly to make available vacant NAMA building for art purposes.

A considerable amount of taxpayers’ money has been invested in The Lighthouse to allow this space to rot makes little sense. Let’s hope a way can be found to bring The Lighthouse back to life.

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Categories: Film and TV

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