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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

Reopened Light House Cinema to be used as Dublin Film Festival venue

New dawn for independent cinema as Irish distribution company take it over – and major film fest to hold screenings there.

The Lighthouse cinema in Smithfield closed in April 2011.
The Lighthouse cinema in Smithfield closed in April 2011.
Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated 16:00

THE ANNUAL JDIFF (Jameson Dublin International Film Festival) is to host some of its prestigious film screenings in the Light House cinema in Smithfield.

While the final schedule for the festival will not be released until 2 February, has learned that JDIFF will use the Dublin arthouse cinema as one of its venues.

This will provide a significant kickstart to the new phase in the cinema’s fortunes. It closed down in April of last year after running up a rent debt of over €100,000 but is now reopening, apparently under the new management of Element Pictures. While the movie distribution company have yet to release an official statement on its new venture, it has already posted a hiring notice for cinema staff. Twenty staff lost their jobs when the Lighthouse closed last year.

The recruitment advertisement – posted at 11am this morning – is looking for “a limited number of full and part-time cinema operatives” to work in a “new  city centre cinema”.

Element Pictures tweeted at 15.55 today:

Local TD Joe Costello had said last year that the cinema’s closure would turn the Smithfield area into “a ghost town” and a Facebook campaign was launched to try to save the cinema. The Smithfield Square on which it is located has few operating commercial units, although there were signs of some new life late in 2011 with the opening of the large Generator Hostel directly across from the Lighthouse on the site of the old Chief O’Neill’s Hotel.

This short documentary from DCU students had related some of the history of the Light House cinema in its original location on Abbey Street in Dublin to its move to Smithfield:

(via BarryMcLoughlin83/

Read: Al Pacino coming to Dublin for film fest – and Oscar Wilde>

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