Belfast's Dublin Road cinema could remain open for rest of 2019

DELAYED DEVELOPMENT: The Movie House cinema on Belfast’s Dublin Road will remain open during the summer
Gareth McKeown

THE Movie House cinema on Belfast's Dublin Road could have a stay of execution for the rest of this year due to a delay in the multi-million pound development of the site.

Technology firm Kainos bought the cinema land at Bankmore Square for £7 million in February and the multi-screen theatre had been due to close at the end of May to allow for construction to begin on the company's new global headquarters.

However, the cinema remains open and in a statement earlier this month Movie House confirmed the Dublin Road site will continue to trade "at least until the end of August".

"Dublin Road will remain open all summer," they said.

"We’ve extended our stay at least until the end of August so you can catch all the best summer movies like Spiderman Far from Home, Toy Story 4, Annabelle Comes Home, Lion King and Fast & Furious Hobbs and Shaw."

Speaking to The Irish News, Kainos chief executive Brendan Mooney said they are still to finalise their plans for the site, which received approval for a 250,000 sq ft grade A office scheme in May 2017. As a result the cinema will "continue to operate as normal".

“The original planning application was for an impressive 250,000 sq foot office development. As we indicated at the time of the purchase, our space requirements are closer to 130,000 sq foot.

"We are currently finalising total space requirements with potential partners and will then either continue with the original scheme or seek a revised planning application. While we undertake this short review, the Movie House will continue to operate as normal," Mr Mooney said.

In February the tech firm said they expected to move into their new Belfast home in spring 2021.

Kainos employs close to 1,500 people across 12 offices in Europe, the US and Canada. Last month the digital services and platforms provider reported its ninth consecutive – and strongest-ever – year of growth.

In the year to March 31, revenue at the former Queen’s University spin-out soared by 56 per cent to £151.3m and adjusted pre-tax profit leapt from £15.3m to £23.3m.

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