movie news

Lighthouse cinema faces closure

movie news | 22 Mar 2011 | 11 comments

Cinema falls victim to Ireland's greedy landlord culture...

John Flynn, the landlord of Dublin's LIGHTHOUSE cinema, has issued a wind-up petition against 'Light House Cinema Exhibition and Distribution Company Limited', resulting from a rent dispute on the Smithfield premises.
The cinema is operated by Neil Connolly and Maretta Dillon, who ran the original two-screen Lighthouse Cinema on Middle Abbey Street until it closed in the mid ‘90s.

The cinema board are meeting today "to decide what action it is to take" ahead of a High Court hearing of a petition to wind up the company. According to The Irish Times, the landlord doubled the yearly rent from €100,000 to €200,000 last summer. The directors have withheld a portion of the rent charged.

The cinema remains open and is currently showing Animal Kingdom, Route Irish, Submarine & Fair Game. Check out cinema times here.


  • vu1999uk

    This is terrible, if unfortunately not too unexpected news. Any time I am there, there is a sparse crowd at the best of times. But is still a lovely cinema, and any place which shows films that multiplexes ignore is only a good thing. Here is hoping they can stay open.


    Nasty news.

  • WildRose86

    Eep >.<
    Shame - its a pretty cinema!

  • masonica

    I've yet to see this landlord ploy of doubling rent in an area that's not exactly prime (love the cinema but location is what I'm on about) It's almost like they want to have empty units. Anyone know how this business works?

  • beansy

    Back in the boom, Landlords would actively market their collateral, whether under lease or not. If they could line up a prospective tenant, willing to pay at least 25% more then you stick a 50% rent raise to the current tenant who, if they were  trading well, would not want the the expense of moving and re-establishing the trade therefore would re-sign as the lesser of two evils.

    Its worth bearing in mind the "Landlord" in this case is probaly not the building owner, he may have leased it long term from large developer, then sub lets. Thats why commercial leases signed during the boom have "rent increase only" clauses, i.e. legally they must increase at each review.

    It s trickle down effect that makes fast dirty money in the boom but is a house of cards in the bust.

    Still shit though.


    Quoted text by masonica

    I've yet to see this landlord ploy of doubling rent in an area that's not exactly prime (love the cinema but location is what I'm on about) It's almost like they want to have empty units. Anyone know how this business works?


  • vani

    I agreed with all of you whatever you said.

  • Mr_Twist

    This is a load of shit
    The lighthouse cinema is one of the best (if not the best) place in Dublin to see art / indie and even pop culture movies.
    I live in the area and this seems like such a waste there is a large amount of empty units in Smithfield market (90% of units are empty)
    and you actually have a land lord who's making money.... and then wants his cake and to eat it by doubling the rent so it has to close down.
    This is madness and sickening
    I for one am disgusted and feel sorry for all the staff (at all levels) at the lighthouse. There's no sense in this action and it shows absolute lunacy on behalf of the landlord
    I am sickened

  • ging-grr

    It seems mad that the landlord feels he can double the rent. As Twist said the vast majority of units in Smithfield are empty, if the news here is anything to go by, probably down to landlord greed. Thomas Reads had a pub there, that closed, there was a Spar that closed to make way for a Eurospar, which was a great local store, had a nice little coffee shop in store and also had a post office in store as well, they eventually moved back to the smaller premises and even that has closed. Even Fresh has reduced the size of it's store and that is the only local shop in Smithfield square which serves quite a large catchment of apartments and passing thrade. The area has huge potential but it will never be realised if landlords charge rent that mean running a business is just not feasible. Though I don't frequent there I always enjoy going to the Lighthouse, I hope they don't have to close.

  • ssconnolly

    I really love this cinema but I don't get to it as much as I'd like. It's quite out of the way for me. Still a huge shame though, probably Dublin's best cinema.

  • nicky3301

    There are a lot of people who love this cinema and feel this shouldn't happen. Join our group on Facebook:

    Save the Light House cinema in Smithfield!


  • clivebb

    This is really sad news, really is a beautiful cinema.
    Doubling the rents is a scandle, how is anyone expected to trade under those conditions.
    I will be joining their face book page after this.

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