A boutique cinema could return to the Savoy in Cork.
Significant changes are being pushed through at the iconic location on Patrick's St by developers Clarendon Properties, including the possibility of a boutique 250-seat cinema, and a small number of residential units, in its sizeable Savoy Centre block complex in the very heart of Cork city centre.
At the peak of its glories, the 1930s-built Savoy seated 2,300 movie patrons, before closing in 1975, with a replacement mix of retail, restaurant, and entertainment venues.
Apart from a significant redevelopment now underway at the Savoy, to include a new, enlarged 9,000 sq ft JD Sports presence on the street in the former A-Wear unit, it is creating two other retail spaces targeted at fashion occupiers most likely — one in the Savoy itself, and another of about 1,000sq ft at ground at the adjoining Quills building.
It previously acquired a corner-set bar premises, the Camán/previously O’Donoghues about three years ago, by Drawbridge St behind Eason, and is looking to the potential for residential accommodation of about eight very high-end apartments on part of the block’s upper levels, says Ronan Downing, development director, Clarendon Properties.
Mr Downing instances niche residential examples that Clarendon has done in Dublin at 34-35 College Green, in the one-time and glorious Hibernian Bank/BofI building, and it has also done some residential in Cork City’s Castle St.
The company is now actively considering a 250-seat boutique cinema within the art deco-style Savoy core, he revealed.
Clarendon Properties co-director Paddy McKillen was recently involved in the reopening of the 1920s-era Stella cinema in Rathmines, Dublin, via associate company Press Up Entertainment, which is also investing in the new Cork city Dean Hotel (under advanced construction) the Clarendon/BAM HQ Horgans Quay development.
Given the current redevelopment work being tackled at the Savoy’s main mall and Quills, access to the Savoy’s upper levels for cinema/residential may be through Little William St, next to Dunnes, with access and fire-reg compliance issues being addressed.
*This story first appeared in The Irish Examiner.