Arthur Lloyd.co.uk
The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

The Academy Cinema, Pearse Street (previously Brunswick Street), Dublin

Formerly The Ancient Concert Rooms / The Palace Cinema and Ballroom / The Embassy Cinema

Dublin Theatres Index

The Academy, Dublin in March 2009 - Courtesy Des Kerins

Above - The Academy, Dublin in March 2009 - Courtesy Des Kerins

The Academy building, which is located on Pearse Street (previously Brunswick Street), was originally constructed in 1824 for the Dublin Oil and Gas Company. The idea was to manufacture gas from fish oil but when the price of fish-oil dramatically increased the company went bankrupt, in 1834.

The building then lay empty for many years but in 1844 it was acquired by the 'Ancient Concert Society' and opened as a concert venue. The seating capacity was around 600. Down through the years Dubliners enjoyed musical performances, concerts, operas, straight theatre, amateur productions, burlesque and even boxing matches. It was a real place of entertainment.

Count John McCormack and James Joyce sang at this theatre and the Irish Literary Theatre Company gave early performances. This company later became the Irish Theatre Company and eventually, in the early 20th century, moved into their own theatre namely the Abbey Theatre.

The Academy, Dublin in March 2009 - Courtesy Des Kerins

Above - The Academy, Dublin in March 2009 - Courtesy Des Kerins

In the 1920's the Ancient Concert Rooms was fitted out as a cinema and opened for business in May 1920. It also had a ballroom and was renamed as "The Palace Cinema and Ballroom". It was once again given a new name in 1950 and became "The Forum".

It closed in April 1956 and almost immediately reopened as "The Embassy Cinema". In May 1964 it closed once again and was refurbished and opened again in March 1965 as "The Academy Cinema" with 640 seats.

The final closure came in 1981 and the building was seriously neglected for many years. Eventually, however, it was once again totally refurbished and returned to it's former glory and is now in use as an office building.

Above Text and Photographs kindly sent in by Des Kerrins.

Other Pages that may be of Interest