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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Light House Cinema, Dublin

Great surroundings will not camouflage poor programming in movie theaters. No matter how swanky the theater, if it shows poor movies, we just won’t go. Which isn’t to say that we have given up on movie-theater design. We still wish that one day, somewhere, someone is going to design a decidedly different, interesting and exciting movie theater.
Glimpses of brilliance are visible in the new Light House Cinema at Smithfield in Dublin, Ireland designed by Dublin’s award-winning DTA Architects Of course, you really need to design — and judge — a movie theater so that it looks and functions best when people are using it. So, having not paid personal visits to the new Light House, we cannot say for sure, but the images we have received of the empty space indicate that the play of light, color and height works exceptionally well here.
Light House cinema has been a bit of an institution in Dublin. It started showing Irish, independent, foreign-language, art house and classic cinema 20 years ago, closed in 1966, and re-opened this summer in its new, customized space. The four-screen, intimate art-house cinema includes a wonderful, inviting and open cafe that looks like something you’d see at an art museum, not a movie theatre. The leader of the Light House project at DTA was Derek Tynan and the project architect was Colin Mackay.

The new cinema benefited from the financial assistance of The Arts Council, the Irish Film Board, and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. For Dublin’s city planners, this was to be a cultural magnet and a focal point for the largest mixed-use development ever in Dublin’s inner city, the massive rejuvenation plan for the historical Smithfield Market area.
And if you’d like to make our wishes come true, please let us know of any supreme movie-theater design concepts you’ve seen, designed or commissioned. We are all eyes and ears. - Tuija Seipellsource:
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