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Cork's Kino arthouse cinema to close over debt to architects

Wed, Oct 28, 2009
Barry Roche / www.irishtimes.com
AN INDEPENDENT arthouse cinema is to close next month after creditors initiated High Court proceedings to recover more than €50,000 owed to them for design work.

Mick Hannigan, who owns the Kino Cinema in Cork, confirmed yesterday he has decided to close the cinema after being served this week with High Court papers over the debt which he owes to a firm of architects.

Mr Hannigan said the debt arose from a plan he developed in 2003 to expand the 188-seat single-screen cinema into a three-screen facility with a total capacity of some 360 seats.

“We had got a grant of €750,000 from the Arts Council and the Film Board for the project which was costing around €3 million in total. I had managed to secure substantial borrowings but we were still left with a shortfall of around €1 million,” he explained.

“Because of that shortfall, we were unable to proceed with the work so we never drew down the grant money but . . . we had to do a considerable amount of preparatory work including getting a design done and that’s where the debt stems from.

“It’s ironic really that our plan to actually expand the arthouse facilities in Cork has now resulted in the city losing its only dedicated arthouse cinema,” said Mr Hannigan, who established the Kino in a former pool hall on Washington Street in November 1996.

“It poses a real question about the future of arthouse cinema in Cork – a university city that prides itself on its commitment to culture and to festivals and which is well known for its celebration of film through the Cork Film Festival,” he said.

Mr Hannigan, who is also the director of the Corona Cork Film Festival, said he was hopeful the creditors would not seek to enforce a seizure-of-goods summons immediately as the cinema is scheduled to host a number of screenings during the festival, which starts next week.

In addition to the debt owed to the firm of architects who carried out the design work, Mr Hannigan confirmed that the Kino also owed money to a number of service providers, but said the entire debt was less than €100,000.

Mr Hannigan said the onus for providing any arthouse cinema in Cork would now mostly likely fall on public bodies such as Cork City Council and the Arts Council as it was unlikely that any private investor would take on such a venture on their own.


Cork’s Kino Closure

posted by irelandafternama

Cork’s independent arthouse cinema The Kino closed its doors on Sunday last following thirteen years in operation.  The decision to close was the result of a high court injunction taken by an architectural firm against the owner, Mick Hannigan, for unpaid fee of €60,000.  This arose from an aborted expansion plan for the cinema that would see it developed from a one-screen/one-storey structure to a three-screen complex with a bar/restaurant.  Having secured a grant of €750,000 from the Cultural Cinema Consortium through the Arts Council to contribute to the cost of the redevelopment, which was anticipated to be completed for Cork’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2005, the costs of the proposed venture had begun to soar. Despite securing additional loans Mr. Hannigan was still €1 million short of the mark, and was forced to abandon the project.

Although the grant money was never drawn down in the end, sizable costs had stacked up for preparatory work including architectural designs.  The Kino has always run under a precarious financial situation, bolstering itself through a few big hits throughout the year, which allowed the cinema to take a hit on the less popular films that were screened.  After exhausting other options, Mr. Hannigan announced at the beginning of November that he would be closing the cinema in order to sell the building in order to pay back creditors.  This sparked a series of grassroots actions.  The setting up of a Facebook page helped gather public support which was translated into a public meeting and ultimately a website (www.savethekino.com) and a trustee bank account through which people could donate money to the cause of keeping the cinema open.

Despite these efforts, it seems, for the moment The Kino (at least in its current location) is no more.  As an important cultural institution in Cork (but not just for Cork: it is the only independently run arthouse cinema in Ireland outside of Dublin) the loss of the Kino is a serious blow to the city’s cultural infrastructures.  Combined with the closure of the Capitol Cinema a few years ago, whose owners moved their operations to the newly opened Mahon Point shopping centre, the loss of The Kino means that there is now only one cinema (The Gate) in Cork city centre.  For a city that has used its perceived status as a ‘cultural city’ to bolster property development and investment over the last decade, this is a poor reflection.

What is interesting about the case of The Kino is what it says about the priorities of the state’s current interventions in the property market, epitomised by NAMA.  The paltry unpaid fee that has forced The Kino to close its doors is way below the threshold for development loans to be taken into NAMA.  On a lesser scale, however, this story is part of the same set of processes.  At a time when development was the name of the game, the owner attempted to expand the cinema, got part way along the process, and was forced to abandon it due to inflating costs.  Perhaps this is an example of a poorly timed speculative attempt at expansion, but much of the NAMA portfolio is characterised by the same set of conditions.  While the banks and the major players are taken care of through NAMA smaller scale initiatives (of which the plans to redevelop The Kino are an iconic example) escape from the net.  Granted, The Kino’s problems go way beyond that of their creditors: with poor attendance figures and increasing competition by the mainstream cinemas in the market for more high-profile independent films, the cinema has not found a way to run at a profit for some time, and this latest crisis has merely pushed it over the edge.  Nevertheless, I still think it is worth considering the plight of The Kino side by side with NAMA for a moment, in that it starkly contrasts the state’s massive investment in the carcass of the property market and the simultaneous disinvestment in the arts (on a related note check out http://www.ncfa.ie/).  The loss of such an institution as The Kino to many aspects of Cork’s cultural and social life should not be underestimated, and it flies directly in the face of the development discourses propagated by City Council for the last decade.  It is also characteristic of the lack of spatial and social priorities of the government through their backing of NAMA.  Rather than looking at the impact of the economic crisis on cities and towns around the country, NAMA sees everything one big property portfolio.  There is a need to escape this logic in order to take stock of what we are really (and rapidly) loosing in the places we live.



On our web site you will be able to find our current Showtimes, and details for films Coming Soon. These pages are updated weekly, so please check back for the latest films and their times. Please note, for some films membership is required

The Kino is a one screen cinema, providing 188 seats, and is open 7 days a week.

Ticket Prices

  Before 6pm After 6pm
Standard €5.50 €8.00
Concession €5.00 €7.00
Kino membership is required for some films.


Tickets can be booked by phone: (021) 427 1571

Concession prices are available on production of correct I.D. for students, senior citizens and social welfare recipients.


Cinema Information

Kino arthouse cinema was established in 1996, and is to date the only independent arthouse cinema in Ireland. The objective has always been to bring quality films of all sizes and nationalities to the film-going public of Cork and its region. The Kino currently has one screen, with a capacity of 188 seats, and is open for business seven days a week.

Films shown in Kino include high quality English language and foreign films, and there are generally 2-3 different films on offer each week. In addition to current releases, Kino also has a variety of other screening events. These include special one-off events (Steve McQueen Day, Fun Lovinâ Criminals select film screening), mini-seasons (David Lynch, Japanese, etc.), and film weeks (French Film Week, Schools Film week, etc.)

KINO also plays a very significant role in the annual Murphyâs Cork Film Festival each October, in which it is one of the main 3 film exhibition venues, attracting film-makers and cinephiles from all over the world.


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Ten Canoes

Cert: tbc
Contains one scene of bloody violence
Runtime: 1 hour 32 mins

It is the distant past, tribal times. Dayindi (played by Jamie Gulpilil, son of the great David Gulpilil) covets one of the wives of his older brother. To teach him the proper way, he is told a story from the mythical past, a story of wrong love, kidnapping, sorcery, bungling mayhem and revenge gone wrong.

In English storytelling (by David Gulpilil) and subtitled Ganalbingu language, this is a film unlike any you have ever seen.

Language: Aboriginal
Genre: Drama
UK release date: 01/06/2007
Starring: Crusoe Kurddal, Jamie Dayindi, Gulpilil Dalaithngu
Directed by: Rolf De Heer, Peter Djigirr


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Scott Walker - 30 Century Man

Cert: PG
Contains one use of strong language
Runtime: 1 hour 36 mins

SCOTT WALKER – 30 CENTURY MAN explores Scott’s music and career, from his early days as a jobbing bass player on the Sunset Strip, to mega-stardom in Britain’s swinging 60’s pop scene, and finally to his transformation into a composer of true genius; an uncompromising and serious musician working at the peak of his powers.

Featuring interviews with friends, collaborators and fans including, among others: David Bowie, Radiohead, Jarvis Cocker, Brian Eno, Damon Albarn, Neil Hannon, Marc Almond, Alison Goldfrapp, Sting, Dot Allison and many more, SCOTT WALKER – 30 CENTURY MAN paints a fascinating portrait of the ultimate cult artist. Exclusive behind the scenes footage of the making of Walker’s new album “The Drift”, his first album in 10 years, will delight fans, whilst introducing new audiences to a man who has inspired god-like devotion from his fans worldwide.

Genre: Documentary
UK release date: 27/04/2007
Starring: Damon Albarn, Dot Allison, Marc Almond
Directed by: Stephen Kijak


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Paris Je T'Aime

Cert: 15
Contains very strong language
Runtime: 2 hours 1 mins

In PARIS, JE T'AIME, celebrated directors from around the world, including the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Gurinder Chadha, Wes Craven, Walter Salles, Alexander Payne and Olivier Assayas, have come together to portray Paris in a way never before imagined.

Made by a team of contributors as cosmopolitan as the city itself, this portrait of the city is as diverse as its creators' backgrounds and nationalities. With each director telling the story of an unusual encounter in one of the city's neighborhoods, the vignettes go beyond the 'postcard' view of Paris to portray aspects of the city rarely seen on the big screen.

Racial tensions stand next to paranoid visions of the city seen from the perspective of an American tourist. A young foreign worker moves from her own domestic situation into her employer's bourgeois environs. An American starlet finds escape as she is shooting a movie. A man is torn between his wife and his lover. A young man working in a print shop sees and desires another young man. A father grapples with his complex relationship with his daughter. A couple tries to add spice to their sex life. These are but a few of the witty and serendipitous narratives that make up PARIS, JE T’AIME. The one disconcerting sartorial issue is the ever-present Batman hoodies worn by the main character. There must have been a very large placement fee, since the number of scenes where Batman appears is quite stunning and distracting. Petty point, but for some, an important distraction.

An outstanding host of actors including Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Fanny Ardant, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte, Bob Hoskins, Juliette Binoche, Emily Mortimer, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Rufus Sewell, Barbet Schroeder, Ludivine Sagnier, Gena Rowlands, Miranda Richardson and Steve Buscemi, grace these vignettes with their larger-than-life personas. Their performances add even deeper resonance to this affectionate love letter to one of the world's most transcendent cities.

Language: French
Genre: Romance
UK release date: 29/06/2007
Starring: Fanny Ardant, Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi
Directed by: Olivier Assayas, Frederic Auburtin, Emmanuel Benbihy, Ghurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Ethan Cohen, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven, Alfonson Cuaron, Gerard Depadieu, Christopher Doyle, Richard Lagravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydès, Walter Salles, Oliver Schmitz, Nobuhiro, Daniela Thomas, Tom Tykwer, Gus Van Sant