Monday 24 October 2016

British chain plans huge restaurant at Cineworld as Dublin venue named one of busiest in these islands

Published 07/04/2016 | 02:30

A scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Cineworld in Dublin in talks with restaurant operator as the cinema group reports strong year, due to movies such as ‘Star Wars’

A HUGE 250-seater restaurant is being planned for one of the busiest cinemas in Ireland or the UK - the Cineworld complex on Dublin's Parnell Street.

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UK group Wings International is planning to open the buffet-style restaurant at the premises, in what would mark its first outlet in Ireland.

It has a small number of outlets in England and is family-owned.

Cineworld has told Dublin City Council that the basement of the cinema complex on Parnell Street has been vacant for years, and that a previously planned project for the site that was to be modelled around the London Dungeon experience never materialised. It was to be called 'Nightmare Realm'.

It told the council that the cinema, which has 17 screens and an Imax, is one of the five busiest cinemas across the UK and Ireland. It added that the basement area extends over 1,300 sq m and is accessible from both Parnell Street, and the ground floor of the cinema itself.

"The nature of the unit's basement location and limited frontage presence means it is highly unlikely to be used as a retail unit," Cineworld added in its planning application.

"The proposal will see the use of a vacant, unused, city centre space for a form of development that accords with prevailing planning policy," it added.

It confirmed that it's in negotiations with a restaurant operator to lease the unit. The Irish Independent has confirmed that the restaurant operator is Wings International.

Wings International offers a range of cuisines, including Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian and Japanese.

It also offers "hugely discounted rates for children under 150cm, and further reductions for children under 90cm", according to its website.

Cineworld owns cinemas across Europe as well as in Israel. Its premises on Parnell Street is its only venue in Ireland. In the UK and Ireland, it recorded just under 51m admissions last year, and a total of 93.6m across the group's operations.

Its total revenue was £705.8m (€873m) and it made a pre-tax profit of £99.6m (€123.2m).

It said its box office performance was helped last year by a strong slate of movies including the James Bond film, 'Spectre', as well as 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.

John Mulligan

Indo Business

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