Sunday 18 August 2019

Secret Cinemas: Nine hotels in Ireland with movie screening rooms

A growing number of Irish hotels have boutique cinemas. Pól Ó Conghaile picks nine for your next movie night...

The 32-seater cinema at Ashford Castle
The 32-seater cinema at Ashford Castle
General Manager of The Amber Springs Hotel Eibhear Coyle in the new 80-seater ‘Showtime’ cinema
The Stella Cinema, Ranelagh
The Cameo Cinema at The Montenotte
The Still Room at Bushmills Inn
Glenlo Abbey's movie theatre...
Inside the Stella Cinema
Ashford castle
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Forget multiplexes and pricey popcorn, here's an idea for movie night with a twist: a hotel with its own, in-house cinema.

A growing number of Irish hotels have private screening rooms, opening up a sweet little niche for film fans or date nights with a difference. Think small theatres, plush seats, bar-to-chair cocktail service...  and no worries about a taxi home.

Not all hotel cinemas are the same, of course.

Some open to the public; others are resident-only. Some show new releases and arthouse flicks, others a menu of classics that may not be to your taste. Some can be booked privately, a neat idea for a family get-together, hen party or corporate do.

Here's just a taste of these slick and intimate screening rooms.

The Montenotte, Cork

Montenotte Hotel Cork IMG_1673.jpg
The Cameo Cinema at The Montenotte

Views from The Montenotte's terrace are stellar, and they're not bad from the 50 salubrious seats in its Cameo cinema either. Dinner and a movie costs €35pp; you can book sleepover deals too, at a hotel that featured in our Fab 50 list of Ireland's best places to stay this year. themontenottehotel.com

The Devlin, Dublin

Stella.jpg
The Stella Cinema, Ranelagh

A new kid on the block, The Stella is a basement 44-seater kitted out with "bespoke mid-century armchairs" and side tables in Ranelagh. A little sister of The Stella in Rathmines, it serves top cocktails and snazzy snacks. Tickets from €19; 'Stella 'n' Stay' packages include B&B from €190. stellatheatre.ie; thedevlin.ie

Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo

Ashford Castle Cinema.jpg
The 32-seater cinema at Ashford Castle

This sumptuous 32-seater comes with red velvet chairs and walls bedecked with old movie posters. Expect a menu of family faves and Hollywood classics (including copious doses of The Quiet Man, filmed locally), with popcorn and pick 'n' mix sweets complimentary for guests. Rooms at Ashford Castle are only available from €625 this summer, but they drop to €325 in November. ashfordcastle.com

Brooks Hotel, Dublin

I saw Elf in this slick 26-seater last Christmas (above). Leather seats lack side tables, but there's a bar just upstairs for drinks, and you're bang in the middle of Dublin's shopping district. Festive season is best for movies; otherwise call or email directly about movie nights. B&B from €240. brookshotel.ie

Bushmills Inn, Co Antrim

bushmills-cinema.jpg
The Still Room at Bushmills Inn

Thursday is movie night at The Still Room. Two-course dinners and a movie ticket start from £27.50/€30.50pp at this Blue Book bolthole, with B&B rates available too. A neat break from your adventures along the Causeway Coast. bushmillsinn.com

Amber Springs, Gorey, Co Wexford

2018-06-26_gor_42018632_I1.JPG
General Manager of The Amber Springs Hotel Eibhear Coyle in the new 80-seater ‘Showtime’ cinema

This Wexford wonder is a hot ticket for families, and the 80-seat Showtime Cinema screens G/U and PG movies twice daily. It's free for hotel guests, with disabled seating and dedicated loos a plus. B&B with dinner for a family of four from €270 in low season, and €324 at peak times. ambersprings.ie

Cork International Hotel, Cork Airport

Here's how to enjoy a layover in style. The Cork International's Cinema Room has 10 luxe loungers and a 4k screen (not to mention a hospitality bar). You can book three-hour packages including canapes and a wine and beer reception from €35pp, or a gin tea party package from €50pp. corkinternationalairporthotel.com

The Park Kenmare, Co Kerry

Francis Brennan.jpg
Francis Brennan of the Park Hotel Kenmare

Francis Brennan thinks of everything. The Screening Room is a small, 12-seat cinema snuggled away inside the Park Kenmare, where guests can watch Hollywood classics at any time of the day. "Sip on a Martini as you watch Audrey Hepburn or enjoy some popcorn for the Disney classics", they say. Don't mind if we do. B&B from €210 in low season. parkkenmare.com

Glenlo Abbey, Galway

Cinema-Glenlo-Abbey-Hotel-Galway.jpg
Glenlo Abbey's movie theatre...

15 velvet lounge chairs, dark mahogany panelling and intimate lighting set the mood at the Abbey Movie Theatre. Guests of Glenlo Abbey's screening room (residents only) can enjoy downtime at daily 5.30pm or 10pm shows - expect a mix of classics, including Murder on the Orient Express - which was part filmed aboard 'The Pullman Restaurant', a fine dining experience comprised of two carriages from the famous train. Midweek breaks from €219. glenloabbeyhotel.ie

Read more:

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in Life