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3Olympia Theatre, Dublin Alamy Stock Photo

Green light for revamp of 3Olympia facade as owners back down on some planned changes

A large art deco arch no longer forms part of the proposal and LED screens are to be also omitted.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has given the green light for the revamp of the 3Olympia’s facade on Dublin’s Dame Street.

The City Council has granted permission to Olympia Productions Unlimited for the overhaul – but only after the owners backed down on key features of planned changes to the theatre’s exterior facade.

Last year, Denis Desmond’s and Caroline Downey’s Olympia Productions Unlimited lodged plans with Dublin City Council for the revamp of the front facade of the 3Olympia Theatre.

The plans followed five months after the Olympia rebranded as the 3Olympia Theatre in an eight-year sponsorship deal with the telecoms giant.

However, the theatre operator has opted not to retain some of the key components of the planned new exterior after the City Council raised concerns.

The centrepiece of the overhaul was to be a large art deco arch that would have ‘3Olympia’ on each side and the revamp also included three LED advertising screens.

However, the large art deco arch no longer forms part of the proposal and the LED screens are to be also omitted.

Denis Desmond said on today “overall, we are happy with the outcome and look forward to commencing the ongoing refurbishment of the 3Olympia in the coming months”.

Planning consultant for Olympia Productions, John Spain told the council the revised proposals “will contribute to a high quality development which will ensure the efficient re-use of a protected structure in commercial and cultural use and add positively to the streetscape on Dame Street”.

The Council ordered the omission of the arch after its Conservation Office stated that it had “serious concerns that the proposed art deco style arched metal feature is excessive”.

Paint job

The original proposal also included the 3Olympia’s distinctive red painted exterior to be repainted grey.

The planner in the case stated that the proposed new painting scheme is not supported and as part of the conditions attached to the permission full details on the final paint colour scheme for the façade are to be agreed with the Council.

Olympia Productions had submitted a Paint Cross section Analysis Report to inform a final colour scheme for the entrance facade and entrance joinery.

The firm is to appoint a conservation expert to design, manage, monitor and implement the works.

Previously, Spain stated that the sign upgrade proposals were being “brought forward by the 3Olympia Theatre as part of a wider refurbishment of the property to provide a high quality entertainment venue consistent with the property’s synonymous historic relationship with arts and culture in Dublin”.

Spain stated that the applicant firm “seeks to invest substantially in the renovation of the 3Olympia with signage elements forming parts of the overall strategy”.

Two individuals objected to the proposal initial changes, Dr Laura Heavey from Drumcondra stated that what is proposed “will irreparably the distinct character of this historic building and contribute to the loss of the built heritage of Dublin City”.

Dr Heavey stated that the “red colour on the facade is what gives the building its iconic character”. Dr Heavey claimed that what is proposed is “bland”.

Emma Wyse from Off Cork Street, Dublin 8 told the council: “Please do not allow the Olympia’s vibrant red colour to be painted over.”

Wyse stated that the proposed new colour “is a deeply unsympathetic proposed colour treatment for our beloved Olympia”.

Wyse stated: “Of course, any building can be any colour, but theatres are almost always red; and The Olympia has been red as long as I’ve known her. It is an iconic and heritage colour within the arts.”

The Olympia theatre was founded in 1879 and was initially known as Dan Lowrey’s Star of Erin music hall. It underwent several name changes unrelated to sponsorship – and became the Olympia in 1923 and over the years has hosted performances by the likes of Adele, David Bowie and REM.

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