Business

Nine-screen luxury cinema planned for former Debenhams unit at Belfast's CastleCourt

The Omniplex Group has confirmed it will open a new cinema at Belfast's CastleCourt next year. Picture by Mal McCann.
The Omniplex Group has confirmed it will open a new cinema at Belfast's CastleCourt next year. Picture by Mal McCann. The Omniplex Group has confirmed it will open a new cinema at Belfast's CastleCourt next year. Picture by Mal McCann.

IRISH movie chain Omniplex has confirmed plans to open a nine-screen luxury cinema in the former Debenhams unit at Belfast’s CastleCourt.

The new venture, which will include a licensed bar and “super comfort seating”, is expected to be operational before Christmas 2022, going head-to-head with the eight-screen Odeon cinema at the nearby Victoria Square shopping complex.

Ominplex, which has 34 cinemas across the island, including 15 in the north, said it will create 40 jobs.

The Irish cinema chain already operates from the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast and from Dundonald.

It’s one of two new anchor tenants set to take over the 80,000 sq ft former retail space.

Much of the former department store will be transformed into a leisure attraction, featuring crazy golf, laser quest, indoor caving, escape rooms, bumper cars and a virtual reality arcade.

It’s understood the ground floor will be divided between retail and a coffee shop.

Omniplex director Paul John Anderson said the CastleCourt development will be like no other the group has undertaken.

“Expect to see new and never-before-seen levels of luxury, quality and service for an afternoon or night out at the cinema.

“We are incredibly excited by the project which will breathe new life into Belfast’s city centre and we aim to have it fully operational before Christmas 2022.”

CastleCourt centre manager Leona Barr said the new cinema represents a significant step towards the regeneration of Belfast city centre.

“The high streets of cities across the UK and Ireland have been changing shape and adapting to the new desires and demands of shoppers and visitors,” she said.

“More retail with attractive and substantial leisure attractions as well as quality bars, cafes and restaurants enhances the city centre experience and CastleCourt’s offer will deliver this.”