Protest over city theatre’s closure for three months

SCORES of people, mainly from the arts community, protested outside one of the country’s largest theatres which is set to close its doors for three months tomorrow.

The 1,000-seater facility will remain closed until September 28, apart from three nights sold out for Daniel O’Donnell concerts and another night for an Aprés Match performance.

Lisa Zagone, who organised the protest, said she was hoping people power would force Opera House management to change their mind.

“It worked in Dublin when it was proposed to move the Abbey Theatre. We need to remind management that this is more than just a normal business,” the respected American set and costume designer said.

Opera House management decided to close the venue after their books were reviewed by accountants Deloitte and Touche.

SIPTU, which represents the theatre’s 31 staff is in talks with Opera House management about possibility of pay cuts and redundancies.

Board chairman Damien Wallace has said he’s confident the tough measures will ensure the viability of the company.

The theatre will reopen in September with Fame: The Musical.

Meanwhile, Cork City Council announced plans yesterday to draft an Arts and Cultural Strategy 2010-2015.

It invited people to attend public consultation meetings in City Hall which will take place as follows:

July 13: Noon for film and video, 4pm for music and opera; July 14: Noon for architecture, 4pm for visual arts; July 15: Noon for community arts, 4pm for dance; July 16: Noon for literature, 4pm for drama.

Anyone interested in attending should contact or telephone 021-4924736.

Written submissions will also be accepted at or The Arts Office, Recreation, Amenity and Culture, Floor Two, City Hall, Cork.

The closing date for submissions is Friday, July 30.


Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s.'ve Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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