Shooting for Royal Project’s €5m Limerick film hub

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Left at Clarion Hotel media launch: Patrick Hogan, PRO Royal Picture Show; Gretta McCormack O'Shea of beneficiary Unity Gospel Choir Limerick; Colm O'Brien of Theatre at the Savoy and Declan McLoughlin of The Royal Picture Shows four festivals of 2014. Also on steering committee of Royal Cinema Film and Media Hub project, Cecil Street Photo: Paul Mullins
Left at Clarion Hotel media launch: Patrick Hogan, PRO Royal Picture Show; Gretta McCormack O’Shea of beneficiary Unity Gospel Choir Limerick; Colm O’Brien of Theatre at the Savoy and Declan McLoughlin of The Royal Picture Shows four festivals of 2014. Also on steering committee of Royal Cinema Film and Media Hub project, Cecil Street
Photo: Paul Mullins

THE start of a procurement process for a private partnership to develop Athenaeum House on Cecil Street as a fulcrum for the film industry has moved the project a step closer to reality.
With the second phase of the design work for the Royal Cinema Film and Media Hub almost completed and €1 million available for fit-out, the main priority will be the €4 million construction cost.
According to project steering committee leader, Paul Patton of the Limerick/Clare Education and Training Board, a number of private companies have expressed an interest in operating the facility and the procurement process has moved to tender.
“There will be four auditoria in the main structure, digital and media studios and training rooms. We are talking about a total spend of about €5 million and private operators will bring a certain amount of that with them. The rest is to be raised locally and nationally.
“That is not a significant amount towards the scale of the project and how much footfall it would bring to the city. There is a spin-off there for local firms”.
There are two larger auditoria planned at 170 seats each, two smaller ones seating 90 and a café-bar for cineastes and of course, students, film makers and guns for hire in-house.
Mr Patton said that as well as returning cinema to the city centre, the project would also encourage the creation of a local film industry.
“At the moment our budding emerging film makers have no home to go to. Hopefully we will build up a film and media centre, a place for festival weekends such as Alliance Francaise’s, a Japanese weekend, for example and where we could hire equipment to producers”, he explained.