Lighthouse lights up again
Published 18/01/2012 | 05:00
They liked the cinema so much, they took it over.
Dublin's Lighthouse Cinema re-opened in Smithfield yesterday with two former patrons in charge.
But Andrew Lowe and Ed Guiney aren't just fans of arthouse cinema, they are the powerhouse team who run Element Pictures -- the makers of a string of critically acclaimed Irish movies including 'The Guard', 'Garage' and 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley'.
Now they face their biggest challenge in trying to make a go of the Lighthouse Cinema, which closed in early 2011 -- with arrears of €156,856 -- because its operators claimed they could not afford a doubling in rent.
"It is no secret that the original lease was a stepped lease, which was unsustainable. What we have managed to do is negotiate a lease which is at a more sensible level," Mr Lowe said yesterday.
The new operators hope that a programme including the best arthouse and Irish films, as well as re-runs of classics, along with the cinema's use for launches, exhibitions and conferences, will generate new revenue streams for the venue, which employs 20.
'The Artist', winner of three Golden Globes; Madonna's new film 'WE'; and 'J Edgar', which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, will be the first three films shown this Friday.
Irish Film Board chief executive James Hickey said the re-opening was a "great example of how everybody came together, including state agencies and the Department of Arts".
The screenplay for 'The Guard' earned writer/director John Michael McDonagh a BAFTA nomination.
Michael Fassbender and Chris O'Dowd are the other Irish nominees on the shortlist announced yesterday -- Fassbender in the lead actor category for 'Shame' and O'Dowd for the Rising Star award. The prizes will be awarded at London's Royal Opera House on February 12.