It's final curtain for the Light House
A LEADING arthouse cinema closed with the loss of 20 jobs yesterday, after the High Court heard it was unable to pay its rent.
Ms Justice Mary Laffoy made an order winding up the Light House Cinema in Dublin's Smithfield, and put the matter into the High Court examiner's list next month.
The four-screen, 600-seat cinema opened in May 2008.
The application to wind up the operating company, Light House Cinema Exhibition and Cinema Distribution Co Ltd, was made by landlord John Flynn last month. The court yesterday heard there was an outstanding rent of €156,856 and the company was now insolvent and unable to pay the debt.
The judge was also told that efforts at mediation to resolve the dispute over the rent -- which had doubled last year to €200,000 per annum -- had not been successful.
Last month, the court heard the Light House company did not have any other substantial creditors and also had a tax-clearance certificate.
The cinema was set up to present a diverse and individual programme of the best Irish, independent, foreign-language, arthouse and classic cinema. It got grants totalling €1.75m from the Department of Arts and the Cultural Cinema Consortium, a joint initiative of the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board.
The Cultural Cinema Consortium, a strategic partnership between the Irish Film Board and the Arts Council which is an investor in the cinema, declined to comment.
The Minister for Arts, Tourism and Culture, Jimmy Deenihan, said previously that the cinema might have to pay back the money to the State or, alternatively, he said, a consortium involving the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board could run an arthouse cinema on the site.