Town centre cinema gets green light
Photo above - the overflow car park on Harbour Road is the site for the planned new cinema.
Planning permission has been granted for a new cinema in the heart of Mullingar.
The plans submitted by Omniplex Ltd include details for the construction of a five-screen cinema on the site of the Harbour Place Shopping Centre overflow car park next to the Royal Canal.
The application was the subject of a number of submissions objecting to development.
One of the objectors, Siobhan Ní Neill, Fonthill Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin, expressed the view that the location “is not an appropriate site for a big box development”. Darren McIntyre from Greenpark West said in his submission that the design “is not in keeping with the tone of the surrounding buildings”. Mr McIntyre also expressed the view that a new cinema in the centre of Mullingar will have a negative impact on the town’s existing cinema and its neighbouring retail units in Lakepoint Retail Park.
The businesses located in the retail park also submitted an objection to the application.
One of the men behind the project is Omniplex director, Mark Anderson, whose family has strong links to Mullingar’s cinematic history.
“From a personal perspective, it would be great for us to be back trading in Mullingar again,” Mr Anderson told the Westmeath Examiner last July when the application was at the pre-authorisation stage.
“We were involved in the Hibernian cinema, which was renamed I think as the Ritz cinema on Castle Street. We jointly owned and operated that for 30 years, so that’s a long time in the town,” he said.
Omniplex operates 28 cinemas on the island of Ireland, 15 in Northern Ireland and 13 in the Republic of Ireland.
The firm estimates that between 18 and 25, part- and full-time positions will be created when the cinema is operational.