MOVIE-GOERS in County Carlow will be spoilt for choice when a second multi-screen cinema opens in the town at the end of March. The new five-screen cinema will be opened in Carlow Shopping Centre by the Omniplex group, which owned a cinema in the premises until 2009.
The Omniplex group is investing €2 million in the project, converting the original three-screen picture house into a five-screen one.
Mark Anderson, who is the company’s operations director and whose family own the Omniplex group, told The Nationalist that reopening the cinema in Carlow Shopping Centre as a five-screen had cost them “a considerable amount of money”.
“The advances in digital projection mean that we are now able to provide five screens in Carlow, where previously we could only provide three. To do this, we’ve spent a considerable amount of money,” Mark said.
The company said that the new cinema would feature leather rocker armchairs, Dolby digital sound and the showing of up to ten different films a week. The family also owned the old Coliseum cinema that was located on Tullow Street before it was knocked down to make way for Carlow Shopping Centre.
“We have emotional ties to the town,” Mark added, when asked if Carlow could sustain two multi-screen cinema complexes.
The Andersons’ return to Carlow comes after a bitter feud, which saw them and their former business partners, the Wards, carve up their cinematic dynasty. In the split, the Ward family took over the eight-screen cinema in the Fairgreen Shopping Centre, rebranding it as an IMC cinema.
The IMC group has just announced that its Carlow cinema in the Fairgreen Shopping Centre will also receive a “full refurbishment”, starting this month, to include larger screens, new 3D screens and a VIP screen at a cost of €1 million.
With the presence of both the IMC and the Omniplex chains in Carlow town, punters will soon enjoy the benefits of 13 cinema screens across the two locations.
“We’re going up against them in a like-for-like basis. It’ll be up to the customers to decide which cinema is best in terms of value and comfort. There are interesting times ahead for the Carlow cinema-goer,” Mark concluded.