Cork’s Coliseum cinema may be demolished for €15m new build

A Cork City cinema building, which had screenings from 1913 to 1964 spanning silent movies, black and white films, and the shift to colour before reopening as a leisure and entertainment complex, may be about to have a very different sequel — as a 171-bedroomed four-star hotel.

Cork’s Coliseum cinema may be demolished for €15m new build

A Cork City cinema building, which had screenings from 1913 to 1964 spanning silent movies, black and white films, and the shift to colour before reopening as a leisure and entertainment complex, may be about to have a very different sequel — as a 171-bedroomed four-star hotel.

Planners are this week to be asked to consider plans for the €15m new-build hotel at the former Coliseum cinema in Cork City.

The former Coliseum cinema pictured in 1953.
The former Coliseum cinema pictured in 1953.

The site is at the junction of MacCurtain St and Brian Boru St.

The plan for a replacement building, of up to seven storeys, involves removal of the 100-year plus Coliseum, originally designed by WH Hill & Co architects, but which was internally gutted decades ago, as well as having its Victorian external finery and roof-level gas lights removed.

A portion of the former An Post sorting office on Brian Boru St will be integrated into the new hotel design by Reddy Architecture+Urbanism, for clients Davy Real Estate.

An artist’s impression of the proposed hotel on the site of the former Coliseum cinema on the corner of Brian Boru St and MacCurtain St in Cork.
An artist’s impression of the proposed hotel on the site of the former Coliseum cinema on the corner of Brian Boru St and MacCurtain St in Cork.

The profile site — between Cork Kent railway station and the city centre along the MacCurtain St spine — is just across the northern channel of the River Lee from the slender Prism 15-storey office tower site, where preparatory site works started last month.

It is also adjacent to the well-advanced Penrose Dock and Horgans Quay/HQ office developments.

LeisurePlex, on the site of the old Coliseum cinema
LeisurePlex, on the site of the old Coliseum cinema

A new, black steel-clad and wedge-shaped Dean Hotel is set to open next to Cork Kent railway station by autumn.

Meanwhile, construction is also under way on a new hotel at the Windsor Inn site on MacCurtain St, which is also home to iconic 1897-built Victorian architectural gem, the Metropole Hotel, where planning permission has been granted in full for extension and a contemporary sibling hotel, The M, on St Patrick’s Quay, by the new Mary Elmes pedestrian bridge at Harley St.

An artist’s impression of the proposed hotel on the site of the former Coliseum cinema on the corner of Brian Boru St and MacCurtain St in Cork, looking west from the Lower Glanmire Rd.
An artist’s impression of the proposed hotel on the site of the former Coliseum cinema on the corner of Brian Boru St and MacCurtain St in Cork, looking west from the Lower Glanmire Rd.

Cork City’s Coliseum cinema was one of several carrying the Coliseum name, with others in Cobh and Skibbereen; the Southern Coliseum Company also owned the Tivoli Cinema in Cork City.

However, while Cork’s Coliseum lasted 50 years as a cinema and 107-plus years as a structure, it has at least outlived another Cork movie-house: on-site works to demolish the 1990s-built Cinema World in suburban Douglas commenced this month, with an Aldi taking up the next supporting role in the suburban village core.

More in this section