DINGLE'S Phoenix Cinema, one of Ireland's last remaining independent cinemas, unveiled a new look this week as the fruits of its recent, and extensive, refurbishment were unveiled.
This is the first major refurbishment since 1980 of the Phoenix, which is owned and run by the O'Sullivan family, and the work was completed on the week of the first anniverary of the death of their dad, Michael, who ran the cinema for many years with great distinction and personal commitment.
"We are one of the last independent cinemas left in the country we are determined to keep to going even though it's an on-going battle to compete with the big cinemas," Francis O'Sullivan told The Kerryman this week.
"We now have new custom seating – which were supplied and fitted by German company Djordjevic Kinobestuhlung – new locally sourced drapes, curtains, lighting plus new digital equipment, a new floor… new everything basically!"
The Phoenix Cinema has punched above its weight this year in bringing big releases to Dingle on premiere day (The Dark Knight Rises was screened in Dingle on the day of is global release for example). Movie fans will also be delighted to hear that this is set to continue this month as the year's most anticipated release - 'The Hobbit'- is set to be screened in The Phoenix on December 13.
Another feature which continues to thrive in the Phoenix is the Tuesday night film club and since Michael's passing the mantle of introducing the film and previewing the film for the following week has been taken up by Tor Cotton and other guest speakers.
"The Film Club has been going since 1988 and we always keep our ear to the ground for new and interesting films to show," Kathleen O'Sullivan explained, "our next film club screening will be 'The Sapphires' starring Chris O'Dowd."
Phoenix '2.0' was showcased in style over the weekend as award winning documentary 'The Day Amy Came To Dingle' was screened there on Saturday as part of the Other Voices Music Trail, followed by a private performance by The Unthanks, which was filmed on Sunday for the Other Voices TV series.
The Phoenix Cinema is also the home of the Dingle International Film Festival which will take place this year from March 15 – 18.