As the Chairperson of the Historic Area Rejuvenation Programme (HARP) Integrated Area Plan which was established to rejuvenate the Smithfield and Markets Area of Dublin City, I welcome the forthcoming opening of the new Lighthouse Cinema at Smithfield on 9th May 2008.
While the HARP has many achievements, it has long been a source of concern to us that many of the promised cultural activities for Smithfield did not materialise.
There was huge disappointment when the Science Museum for the Square did not materialise and the proposed site is now occupied by the Motor Tax Office.
The Lighthouse Cinema had earned a reputation for being an arthouse cinema while it was on Abbey Street. It was demolished in 1996 to make way for developments at Arnotts. The new Lighthouse at Smithfield will bring a variety of independent, foreign language and classic films.
I understand that the promoters will be organising film workshops and have indicated that they will work with the local community. This will provide a marvellous opportunity for the young people from the area to become involved in film and cinema. The Bradog Youth Service in the area has done much work with young people in the area of film and multimedia.
I hope that the arrival of the Lighthouse Cinema to the area will broaden the vision and enhance the skills of young people from the area.
It will also provide hours of culture and entertainment for local residents and indeed all Dubliners as it will bring visitors from all quarters of the City to Smithfield.
The Cinema will host four screens, 600 seats and will have a café and bar. Further information can be obtained from their website: www.lighthousecinema.ie
I look forward to the opening of this cinema and as a local resident hope to become regular patrons.