Mount Merrion landmark to be demolished

by Rebecca Ryan
The Stella building as it was then and now

The former Stella cinema in Mount Merrion is set to be demolished.

Furniture store Flanagan Kerins is closing its doors at the former cinema site, which will make way for a residential development.

The classic suburban cinema [1955-1976] was one of the last to open in the capital before a threedecade slump hit cinemagoing, according to the Cinema Heritage Group.

Following the closure of Stella in 1976, the Flanagans took over the premises and traded for 35 years before going into receivership in 2012.

In September 2016, plans to develop 48 apartments on the site of the former Stella cinema were put on hold when furniture retailer Flanagan Kerins announced it had signed a short-term lease with the developers to open its second store at the landmark building, pending the commencement of works there.

The news of the former Stella building being demolished has sparked reminiscing among locals, and many are sad to see the building go.

Anne Houlihan Murray said: My mother saw every film there. We lived on Wilson Road, two houses from Stella.”

Des Murnane said: “I remember seeing my first movie there in 1962 – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, with my uncle and siblings; I was nine. Often the B movies were better than the main feature, but great to get two movies for the price of one.”

Gerry Moore said: “So sad to see this building go.”

Shona Whelan said: “Unbelievable that such a lovely old building is just to be knock down. No forward thinking at all.”

Claire Taylor said: “Is there anything one can do to save this building? Have we not learned from the past with all the fab buildings they tore down?!”

Johnny Gleeson said: “So many fond memories and I saw the odd movie too.”

Valerie Dunne said: “[Shame] that it has to be knocked down.”

Rita Quinn said: “It’s a real shame it’s not being restored. I was at the old Stella in Rathmines recently. It’s been restored.”

Geraldine Lattimore said: “Sad to hear this. Can only imagine the monstrosity that will be erected in its place.”

Mona O’Neill remembered: “We never missed Sunday afternoons in Stella from the time it opened and also loved going to the Ormond in Stillorgan. I think it was 9d into Ormond and a shilling into the Stella. Happy days. We were so lucky.”

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