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High Court Orders Closure of Lighthouse Cinema
15 Apr 2011 :
The High Court in Dublin has ordered the closure and wind up of the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, just under three years after the art-house cinema opened its doors to the public.

Following today’s decision, Light House Cinema co-founder Maretta Dillon said in a statement to IFTN they were “very disappointed" that their "best efforts to reach a settlement with the landlord were unsuccessful.

Last month landlord John Flynn issued a wind up petition to close the art-house cinema following a rent dispute. In May 2010, the annual rent on the property was increased from €100,000 to €200,000 and Mr. Flynn claims the group owes €157,000 dating back to this time. Quoted in The Irish Times yesterday, Mr Flynn said he insisted on the rental increase in order to fulfil his company, Fusano Properties’ commitments to NAMA, saying the building cost €10million (€1.75m provided by the state) to develop and was largely financed by Anglo Irish Bank, and this loan was now in the hands of NAMA.

Concluding her statement to IFTN Maretta Dillon said: “We are amazed that neither the landlord, or according to him NAMA, was not prepared to recognize the need for flexibility in the current climate. We’d like to thank everyone we worked with in the film sector over the past three years and appreciate all their support.

Dillon declined to comment on what, if any, actions will now be taken to save the cinema which has now closed its doors having opened for business on Friday, 9 May 2008.

The future of an art-house cinema in Smithfield remains a running debate as planning permission for the building was granted on condition that it was to be used as a “cultural space”, so any option to open a multiplex cinema on the site would first need to be negotiated with the council.



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