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Element Pictures' Pálás Cinema Set To Open This Friday, February 23rd
22 Feb 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Element Pictures has announced that Galway’s long awaited Pálás Cinema will be opening its doors to the public for the first time this Friday, February 23rd.

The much anticipated cinema has promised to host an eclectic mix of the best new Irish and international films along with classics, foreign language, animated films, shorts, documentaries, special events & festivals. This weekend will see the cinema screen three Oscar nominated films – ‘Lady Bird’, ‘The Shape of Water’, and ‘I, Tonya’.

Designed by Architect Tom de Paor, Pálás is a five storey structure over a double-height basement, which houses the three-screen independent cinema, a bar and restaurant.

Located near the Spanish Arch at 15 Merchants Road Lower, the space occupies the garden of a reinstated 1820s merchant house. The three-screen arthouse and cultural space was marketed as Galway’s ‘cultural hub’ acting in a similar capacity to the successful Light House Cinema model in Smithfield, Dublin.

The project, which was originally estimated to cost €6.3 million, has been plagued with problems since construction began in 2009. Following nine years of problems, going €2.2 million over budget, and costing the State a total of €8.4 million, the complex was finally leased to Element Pictures, who run the thriving Light House Cinema in Dublin.

Speaking in advance of the opening, Element Pictures’ Director Andrew Lowe commented:

We are so thrilled to finally open the doors to Pálás this weekend. It has been a long road and we would not be at this point without the patience and support of all the funders led by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Galway City Council, the skill and care of our design team, led by Tom dePaor, and of our contractors JJ Rhatigans and their team of sub-contractors.

“Ed and I would like to acknowledge the passion, commitment and collaboration of Lelia Doolan and her colleagues in Solas who initiated this project and brought us in to operate and complete the construction phase.  As with our sister cinema the Light House in Dublin, we fully believe Pálás will now be at the heart of the cultural life in the city and we look forward to getting to know our Galway audience and ensuring that a visit to Pálás is a unique experience.”

The cinema, was initiated developed by Solas Galway Picture Palace Teoranta. Financial support for Pálás has been received from Galway City Council, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, The Irish Film Board, the Arts Council, The Western Development Commission, Element Pictures and film and business support from individuals and companies.  

Element is said to have worked closely with the design team and the main contractor JJ Rhatigan to oversee the completion of works and to deliver a state-of-the-art contemporary arthouse cinema to Galway.

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