Colourful campaign seeks to save historic picture house

ONE of Cork’s great old cinemas is set to get a psychedelic facelift as part of a campaign to save it from dereliction.

The Lido Picture House in Blackpool, which opened in 1931, will be covered in multi-coloured cubes as part of the initiative, which hopes to find a new community use for it.

The Lido on Watercourse Road on the city’s northside opened in 1931 and became a much-loved venue during the city’s golden age of cinema.

But with the growth of cineplexes, the Lido — along with other great cinemas like the Coliseum, the Lee, the Ritz and the Cameo — closed.

It was used for several years by O’Meara Camping and was subsequently bought by a private developer but became derelict following the collapse of the construction industry.

Now, Dulux has joined forces with Cork City Council and the local community to save it as part of the paint company’s Let’s Colour project — the same project which helped transform Moneygall for US President Barack Obama’s visit.

The local authority is also working with the building’s owner to house a community-related arts project there.

Niall Ó Donnabháin, an executive planner with Cork City Council, said the project offers a “real and exciting way” of giving a much needed facelift to a building of significant social and historic value.

“It also shows how, with community support and active engagement by building owners and the council, the problem of dereliction can be tackled in a creative and meaningful way,” he said.

The Lido was run for over 30 years by a Dublin man, Eddie Coghlan, who was affectionately known as the “The Shadow”.

Sean Dineen, who was born in Blackpool, spent countless afternoons with his friends there.

“The Lido is part of Blackpool’s history and it’s great to see it being brought back to life through this project.

“Sure, in those days, most of us couldn’t afford the price of a ticket for the big picture house on Academy Street so the Lido was a lifeline where we could watch pictures such as Roy Rogers, Captain Marvel and Flash Gordon to our heart’s content.

“We had nothing, not even the four old pence into the Lido, so we’d collect 2lb jam jars which the Lido would take in lieu of entry.

“They’d then sell them on to the local factory.”

Dulux Let’s Colour project ambassador, Ann Marie O’Riordan, said the company is delighted to be involved in the project.

“We hope the Lido, and the involvement of the people of Blackpool, will spur others in Cork to submit entries and make a different to their local area.”

The Dulux Let’s Colour project is open to all Irish communities until July 31.



Picture: Artist’s impression of the proposed Lido Picture House design. It is hoped to open a community-related arts project in the building. Picture: John Sheehan

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