Fine Arts Cinema

Store Street,
Dublin D01 P6V6

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Eblana Theatre, Newsreel Cinema

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According to Marc Zimmermann’s book ‘The History of Dublin Cinemas’, this is likely to be the most obscure of the city’s cinemas - mainly because it was quite well hidden, occupying part of the basement of the central bus station (Busaras).

The Busaras complex was one of the first examples of the International Modern Style in Europe after the war. Erected between 1945 and 1953, its construction was controversial, with public opposition to its external appearance and ‘excessive’ cost (over £1m).

Always planned as an integral part of the complex, the cinema opened on 19th October 1953 as the Eblana Theatre (named after an ancient name for Dublin).

It offered upholstered seating and bespoke light fittings. A cantilevered platform, which could accommodate a lecturer, supported a large, freestanding screen.

It was intended to offer commuters entertainment while they waited for a bus, and initially showed newsreels on a 45 minute loop. Not surprisingly, it was soon renamed the Newsreel Cinema.

For a short period in the early 1970’s it was known as the Fine Arts Cinema, presumably showing ‘art house’ fare, but it became financially unviable and closed in 1975.

After being used as a modest theatre, and an exhibition hall, the space is currently unused (the screen and stage having long been removed).

Contributed by David Simpson
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