Hotel planned for Cork's Coliseum site

11/03/2020 - 02:12

By Tommy Barker
FIFTY years after the closure of the former Coliseum Cinema in Cork city, come plans to finally demolish it, and to replace the property which is still in active leisure use with a €15 million, 171-bed hotel.

Behind the proposal for the strategically-located site are major Irish investors/fund, Davy Real Estate: it's set at the corner of MacCurtain Street and Brian Boru Street, between the city’s bus and rail stations and 200 metres from new office blocks under construction.

It’s also close to the new Dean Hotel, next to Kent Rail Station and which is due to open in August. Meanwhile, across the street demolition has now taken place on the former Windsor Inn by York Street, to be replaced by a new ‘micro’ hotel.

The former Coliseum cinema pictured in 1953.

The Coliseum cinema, with 700 seats, opened in 1913, the year of the Dublin Lockout on what was then called King Street: it closed its doors, on the subsequently re-named MacCurtain Street/Brian Boru Street corner facing Summerhill North, half a century later in 1964, showing The Man in the Iron Mask for its last screening.

Subsequently, the building which had lost its ornate external Victorian architecture trappings was also gutted internally and became the Coliseum Leisureplex, home to bowling, Quasar and other activities.

Now, more than another half-century after the Coliseum’s closure in ’64, come plans to level it and replace it with a hotel.

Davy Real Estate is due to lodge for planning permission for the Coliseum site this week, with design by Reddy Architecture + Urbanism, who also secured planning last year for upgrade and second hotel at the Metropole, on MacCurtain Street. A start date for the Metropole extension and second 'M’ hotel has not yet been confirmed by its overseas owners.

No operator is yet lined up for what’s proposed to be a four-star, 171-bed hotel.

The Coliseum is not a protected structure, as it has been stripped back inside and out. However, the façade of a section of a former postal sorting office on Brian Boru Street will be retained and integrated into the new hotel. Another section of the postal sorting office, in redbrick, was converted to private apartments in the 1990s.

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