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The Theatre Royal, the largest movie palace built in Dublin, or Ireland for that matter when it opened on 23rd September 1935 with a variety show on stage and two film shorts on the screen (no main feature film). It was the third theatre of the same name to be built on the site. The architect, Leslie C. Norton, designed the Theatre Royal with a stylishly Art Deco exterior, faced in white marble with bands of black separating three large windows over the main entrance and marquee. Stylized sculptural panels on the facade represented Eire and ancient male and female Celtic figures. Masks of comedy and drama were located at the top of the facade.
Inside, the style was totally different, with a Middle Eastern/Moorish style, including a 40 foot-deep stage and large screen. The theatre was equipped with a Compton 4Manual/16Rank theatre organ (with Melotone) which was opened by Alban Chambers. The Theatre Royal, for much of its life, featured live entertainment as well as films.
By the start of the 1960’s business was dwindling and the massive theatre building was closed on 30th June 1962 due to competition from televison, and was razed later in 1962. An office building and the current Screen Cinema was constructed on the site of this Deco gem at the corner of Townsend Street and Hawkins Street.
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