Lighthouse cinema in trouble

I feel angry after reading this in todays Irish Times

Anyone know who the grasping landlord is? I wonder was he contacted by the paper to explain why a doubling of the rent is - in his mind - appropriate. It would be a pity to see the Lighthouse go, it’s a good spot.

The rent did seem very low for a cinema at 100K a year.

Well, before you go mad on the landlord, it’s worth considering the terms of the original contract, when the original rent was set and how long the next contract is for. Having said that, it is not a recession proof business, so its hard to see a time in the relatively recent past (seven years or so) that would have had a poorer business outlook than now.

Earlier IT article on this: … 75778.html

states the landlord is John Flynn.

Post on CreativeIreland says he wants to let it to Tesco: … stcount=16

I can’t think where, but I seem to recall reading that businesses that deal in “small luxuries” like cinemas hold up reasonably well in recessions, as people cut out or down on large leisure items and compensate by maintaining or substituting cheaper options.
I’ve found the Lighthouse doing quite well recently and it’s seemed fairly busy. When I first started going a few years ago, it was like having my own private cinema. It seems to have got busier as the rest of Smithfield has shut down (the bits that were ever open in the first place, that is).

That’s the received wisdom alright, but I’m not sure that in this day of torrents that it necessarily holds true. Even if there is an audience it is a crowded space and the overall cost of going out is expensive compared with staying in.

One of the posters on WGU’s link (thank you) said there was an agreement built into the lease that the rent would double at an agreed time and that this is the agreed time. There’s no information in the news articles to suggest that this is the case. Or if it is the case, what other conditions might have to be met to allow that to happen.

Tesco? I’d take that with a pinch of Salt - It’s in a basement and there’s already a small supermarket in Smithfield; there was a EuroSpar at the top of the square that closed down.

I’m quite sure the planning permission specified a Cultural Centre etc and the tax breaks would be contingent on that

If that is the case and I say “if” this is a prime example of how bad planning should in fact work by the failure of its pretense. If Tesco moves in Fresh next door will be gone and most likely the restaurant beside the cinema. You get a de-socialistion after a brief attempt to bring the area back to residential diversity in what is historically a residential area of the city. It already has a a supermarket and there is already a Tesco only a bit further up in Prussia st. Sound like a total mess and a good reason to fuck out our planning system lock stock and barrel and begin again but I a blue in the face (where is our blue smiley!) from saying this forever! :imp:

the rent was due to double in 2010 conditional on the development being completed and the surrounding commercial units being filled. It was basically €100k pa to rent a cinema on the ratty edgy of Dublin, €200k pa to rent a cinema in the busy, vibrant commercial area the landlord promised Smithfield would be in 2010. It was very clearly a worse commercial area in 2010 than it was when the Lighthouse opened up so the rent rise wasn’t justified in the original terms. Or at least that’s the defence of the Lighthouse owners.

The restaurant is already gone a few months at this stage. Sign outside says its up for rent.

There are soundbites “the landlord has doubled the rent” and there are facts:

The fact is that the rental level in the lease for the first 5 years is E500,000. There is a pre-opening contribution from the landlord to the lighthouse of E250,000. The first year’s rent has a discount of 100% (500k) rent payable zero, the 2nd year has a discount of 80% (400k) rent payable E100k, the 3rd year has a discount of 60% (300k) rent payable E200k, the 4th year has a discount of 20% (E100k) rent payable E400k and the full rent of E500,000 is payable in the 5th year.

There is no mention in the lease regarding the success (or otherwise) of Smithfield Market.

The cinema received grants of E1.75 from the taxpayer towards the fit out costs and it cost E10 million to build. The rent represents a 5% return on investment. A level below the market.

The cinema operators have an income from the Film censor’s Office of E120,000 per annum and could increase their income by a similar amount from sponsorship if the chose to brand it.

The reference to Tesco is rubbish. The planning permission is for an arthouse cinema.

The loan is in NAMA. I am sure that the landlord would be delighted if the taxpayer chose to reduce the rent so that his loan could be written down.


What’s all the rubbish about Tesco. The only space that it is taking is on the southern end of Smithfield - far away from the cinema. There is no planning permission for a supermarket in the cinema space and why would anyone build one there and throw out a E10 million build. Jeez, it’s no wonder the world’s bondholders think that we are sooooo naive.

Sad this.

Does not augur well for the similar project in Galway …as in the building site blocking the road around the docks and jamming the town up daily :frowning:

From what I’ve heard the Tesco Express will be moving into the building next to the lighthouse that currently houses The Complex theatre/art space.

planning ref 4176/10 on

site notice here

objection from Fresh

Objection from Fresh, not surprised, if Tesco opens there they are finished, they are rip off merchants.

So I guess there’s a queue of cinema companies chomping at the bit to get in there now…pity they couldn’t reach a compromise, nice cinema :frowning: