A FEASIBILITY STUDY is underway to determine future uses of the Mars Cinema buildings and land in Kilrush.

Tourism Development International (TDI) in January commenced the Mars Cinema feasibility study, Clare County Council confirmed this week. TDI were given the contract following a public tender process.

Examining if there is a market opportunity to develop a viable attraction or business at the former Mars Cinema buildings and lands for the benefit of the local community and visitors is the aim of the study.

A future concept plan for Mars Cinema must be fully informed by the local economic context and the future public realm plans for Kilrush, the Council have said.

A situation analysis is under way, designed to inform a future use of the former cinema based on market demand, ongoing town planning considerations and new area and town development initiatives.

During the second quarter of 2024, a public meeting will be held in Kilrush to outline the findings of the situation analysis and to seek community feedback on the emerging concept or concepts for the former cinema. No date has been set as of yet for this meeting.

Kilrush based Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) said he was “delighted to see progress” regarding “the redevelopment of the cinema. The project holds great potential for regeneration of Frances St and Kilrush Town Centre but equally it has potential to provide a great amenity for West Clare”.

Opened on December 17th 1950, the Mars Cinema closed its doors in 1991. The first film shown is believed to have been ‘Mr Belvedere Goes to College’ starring Clifton Webb. It was equipped with a western electric sound system and had a 34ft wide proscenium. It also held auctions and dances and was home to the Kilrush Operatic Society from 1951 to 1966.

Interior conditions were described as “in decay” in 2017, on August 22nd of that year a plaque was unveilved by film scholAr Dr Harvey O’Brien to mark the venue’s importance to local history.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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