16-19 Upper O'Connell Street,
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The Savoy Cinema opened on 29th November 1928 with “On With the Show”, and was the greatest Atmospheric style cinema in Ireland. The 2,900 seat interior was fitted out in a Venetian theme with the Doge’s Palace painted on the fire curtain (a stage and dressing rooms were part of the project), the prosceniun arch was in the style of a bridge over a canal, and the side walls were decorated with faux Venetian windows, doors and balconies. It was designed by architect F.C. Mitchell and was built for Associated Irish Cinemas, a subsidiary of Associated British Cinemas(ABC). The Savoy Cinema was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/14Rank theatre organ.
It was taken over by the independent Elliman Group in 1939, and in 1946 it was taken over by the J. Arthur Rank Organisation. The auditorium was renovated in 1960, which destroyed the Atmospheric decorations, replacing it with a modern contemporary style. It was twinned in 1969 and tripled in 1975. In 1979, it became a five-screen cinema.
The Classically styled exterior still dominates O'Connell Street (virtually opposite the former Carlton Cinema – closed), and remains a popular cinema in Dublin despite the existance of a couple of multiplexes. It underwent a renovation in 2005 and the largest screen, which seats 780, still hosts the occasional film premiere.
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