A cinema for grown ups.
In its previous incarnation on Abbey Street, The Lighthouse was my favourite Dublin cinema, and its closure was a huge loss to cultural life here - even with the opening of the IFC (now IFI). Its new, much vaster incarnation, though slightly off the beaten track geographically - ten minutes from the city centre - is absolutely well worth the visit, and certainly benefits from its off-centre location in terms of its eye-catching and distinctly European-feeling arthouse architecture and design.
Ironically perhaps, given this, the programme is designed nowadays to cater to a more mainsteam sensibility, or combination mainsteam/arthouse, which I imagine is the model that makes economic sense given the scale of the project, though it might be something of a bugbear to a purely arthouse audience.
They do baby and parent screenings, classic movie screenings as well as the regular programmes.
The cafe is nice, the bar downstairs serves after an evening screening and is a cool place to hang out, and though it's not the cosiest of environments with its vast spaciousness, clean lines and modernist feel, it manages to feel inviting nonetheless.
The lights went out once on The Lighthouse on Abbey Stret - then, for a little while they went out again in its new home in Smithfield, as Dublin's cultural heartlands adjusted to post-boom realities. Hopefully its determined beacon will stay burning for a long time to come and growing numbers will come to appreciate its charms. And, at just a minute's walk from the LUAS, which brings you back into town in five minutes, that couldn't be much easier.
You won't find blockbusters at the Light House Cinema, but you might find that off beat romantic comedy your friend won't shut up about, or that documentary on the decline in people who make wooden chairs (I don't even know what I'm saying anymore....)
Situated a mere minutes walk from the Smithfield LUAS stop, the Lighthouse is located beside a two relatively decent cafes/restaurants. Prices are considerably lower (I think) than your regular cinema in Dublin. However, the tickets for popular movies will sell out so quickly, you may find yourself gaping at the booth seller as he informs you they've just sold out, so book on line in advance.
If you're making a night of it, take advantage of their little bar downstairs, and don't forget to check out their cafe if your buzzing around Smithfield during the day.
Went for the first time here today to see 'Her'...The film is very good! Soundtrack amazing!
Anyway, just been to cineworld and now this one and this is winning! Very comfortable, cinema meets posh café kind of style and best of all cheaper tickets!
The screen is flat ( I don't really like the curved ones) and the sound is very nice as well!
Can't wait for the new Wes Anderson film! :)
I was here for a series of short films as part of the Gaze festival, which I think gave me a chance to see this lovely hidden cinema at it's best.
A lovely, modern feel and design really sets The Lighthouse apart from it's multiplex competitors. To be honest before I went in I sort of expected a shoddy, artsy feel one comes to expect from 'indie' cinemas but I was truly pleasantly surprised.
The seats I should also mention because they are mega comfortable, I think I'll be planning more movie outings here very soon, especially if my current plans to relocate nearer to Smithfield all go as I would like them to!
Probably the only beautiful cinema in Ireland. The cool decor makes a great change from the norm. Decent prices for tickets and a good student discount. The selection of beers in the bar is great, come a little early and you can hang out there for a little bit.
Only downside is we weren't allowed take our pizza from next door in like you used to be able to!
One steps off the Luas into a Huxley-esque landscape - fully paved walkways, large open spaces, strange sculptures, and buildings trying to be a little more than they are with lots of glass and cement blocks. With this backdrop you walk into the Lighthouse Cinema which has a strange feel to it. You are reminded of a museum or art gallery. Wonderful angles, with many interesting dips in level and just interesting architecture, this otherwise cold space actually feels quite glamorous.
The staff I met were friendly and helpful. I was delighted as I was going to a preview screening, so the feeling of importance expanded. While I had already eaten, I noticed that lots of food (including gorgeous round tubs of popcorn) are available AND they serve alcohol. Now, drinking whilst watching a movie you are supposed to review is not recommended, but I could have done with a nice glass of wine given that the movie I saw lacked anything I could have called entertaining.
The seats were comfy, the screen high quality and the fact that there is no signal in the cinema means there are no annoying disturbances.
It just isn't a typical cinema experience, and was lovely for a change!
See more reviews at: doingdub.blogspot.com
Popped into the Light House Cinema for the first time for their book/ movie club showing of Clueless. This is a great funky little cinema with a cafe upstairs and a bar downstairs. Its hip but comfy... and I didn't feel like I was being fleeced. They have some mainstream films, some art-house and some random ones.
I love the whole book/movie club idea - there's one each month in partnership with Chapters where you can get a 10% discount on the book - and show your receipt and get a 10% discount on the film as well.
They have a deal with the local carpark for parking for 4 euro which is great as well
Just wanted to update this to give some more impressions on the smaller (red) screen.
The seats are comfortable to the point of potential narcolepsy attacks! Each seat also seems to give the perfect view of the large screen, never being too close or far away, and the intimate setting gives the impression you're sitting in your own private screening.
Our tickets to the movie only cost 6 euro as well, with one of our party paying 4 euro with student ID. Not sure why this was - because it was during the day or because the movie was a bit older, but bargain all the same.
Drank the pink lemonade which was faaaarrr too sour for my tastes despite it's tempting aesthetics. Brought it home to dilute into water.
So this is where the cool people come to watch movies!
Arrived yesterday flustered after being blown around by Artic winds in Dublin yet again, I stepped into a lovely and warm reception area with well heeled people sipping their mochalicious soy extra hot extra foam lattes, chatting in clusters. I had a feeling there are people who would come here just to use the cafe and not even go to the movies.
Movie prices were very reasonable - on par with those in the city centre and cinema seats and theatre very well kept and spacious (Screen 4). The patrons were mostly 40ish women with a few disgruntled hubbies in tow but then again it was probably the movie that attracted that demographic - it has Richard Gere in it.
I'm picky about cinemas and generally prefer to view at home. I hate the sticky floors, the annoying idiots who play with their phones and talk, the overpriced snacks and the feeling of being crammed into an auditorium designed to assault the senses.
The Lighthouse has none of the above faults. Movie watching is a pleasure there. You can grab a brownie, a good beer (which you can take in) and relax in comfortable seats in a well laid out cinema. The selection of films ranges from Hollywood blockbusters to indie and foreign films.
Love the lighthouse! Sooo comfy and clean.
I love this place. Staff are super friendly, cinema is clean and comfy and you can enjoy a pilsner with your movie. Highly recommend.
1. Great contemporary architecture, that's the first thing I noticed
2. Lovely comfy high backed seats. Taller people also get to rest their heads on the headrest, rather than just their shoulder blades (as in most other places!)
3. Beer and wine served, and allowed in the screenings, cool!
4. Most of the mainstream films shown, as well as "specialist and art house" movies, as they say on their website
5. Nice discerning cinema goers in attendance
Boom, my first five star review (with a numbered reason for each star no less)
just on the square of Smithfield the cinema has a very nice and open entrance. The wooden paneling on the floor is very stylish. The whole design of the cinema is very modern and pleasantly fresh. All the screens are underground, and due to the light interior design it doesn't feel like it.
The screens itself are well a continuation of the design; very nice!
A real treat for the Cinema lovers!
So jealous we don't have anything like this in Rathmines. Yes, we have the Swan but it's all the commercial muck that comes out of the U.S. and U.K.
This was my first time ever at the cinema and I just loved the feel of the spacious and modern cinema with its foyer and not extremely over-priced cafe.
I also loved that it was clean and the crew came in after the show to sweep up (mostly my) spilled popcorn. And they were nice about it as well.
I hope that they start bringing in a loyalty card system like the IFI because I would really like to support such a wonderful establishment.
I'm a little sad that the impetus for writing this review is based on the fact that The Light House will most likely close down due to the landlord doubling the rent...how and ever, better late than never!
I adore this place, but unfortunately I don't make it over that side of town enough. For those who haven't been there, imagine a vast Bauhaus style space, located right in the heart of Smithfield square...a mere hop and a skip from The Cobblestone Pub and Dice Bar.
The films they show are pretty much in the same vein as the IFI (so, for the most part, they are good)...but it's the visual impact of the lighthouse which sets it apart from other cinemas. It looks like a wonderful place to host exhibitions, and for all I know, they probably do from time to time.
My favorite thing about The Light House is the multicoloured seats (can't remember which screen you'll find them in).
I hope it doesn't close down. And if it doesn't, I'll make much more of an effort to go there!
This place is like some cool combination of the Carousel arena from Logan's Run and a modern art museum. It's virtually impossible describe, but the staff is friendly, the theatres excellent, and the quirky use of vast amounts of empty space are, well, quirky.
I think Smithfield is the high water mark of the Celtic Tiger. The prosperity crested just high enough to create a great, modern area like this on one side of the square, and still leave the other side a loose pile of rubble and a variety of empty shop fronts.
I would never in a million years have thought an artsy, groovy place like this would be here, but it is. The place was packed when I went to see Breakfast at Tiffany's, and with the Luas stop about a 2 minute stroll away, I'll be heading here again to see more art films.
I'm only taking away a star because the bathroom situation is aweful. Given how much space they have, there's no reason to have weirdly cramped facilities tucked away into corners that seem to be deliberately hidden. Or to have access that's extraordinarily difficult for wheelchairs, as I watched two chair-bound folks struggle to negotiate the difficult dimensions of the corridors leading to the toilets. It took two of us to manage the doors to help them get to where they needed to go.
Bottom Line: Renew! Renew! (that's a hipster cinema geek joke. or at least, it was in 1976)
The Lighthouse is without doubt my favourite cinema in Dublin. It' not only a great cinema that shows the best of stuff on general and limited release, but also puts on special events every now and again. Currently, they're running an art exhibition based on the works of Stanley Kubrick.
It's not always hopping with activity, but it's a great place to see a film or even just hang out and get a coffee. I went to see the Godfather last week in the Lighthouse and I have to say, seeing Mo Greene get shot in the eye on the big screen from the comfort of the best cinema seats in Dublin is one hell of an entertainment experience.
It's a far different experience to Cineworld down the road, so give it a go, definitely has my seal of approval.
I'm spoiled rotten to have this place literally on my doorstep.
They show a great selection of films - the blockbustery types and the more artsy ones, the staff are really friendly and the interior is just so impressive - neatly minimal yet nicely detailed.
Their food is nice too, they have a seating area if you fancy tea and a slice of cake during the day.
I'm so happy this place has re-opened.
Smithfield's Lighthouse Cinema is a beacon of innovative design. The use of light and space is phenomenal and makes this cinema a destination in itself, rather than just a vessel for the viewing of films.
At the entrance a long tunnel of bright white light upon white walls entices filmgoers into the underground realm of this four screen, 600 seat venue.
A giant's stairway leads to the 'waiting room' of brightly coloured cushions on a tiered, grandstandesque area. Not one to arrive at a film before at least half the previews are over, I can't be sure if people actually wait here to be called into the theatres, but I imagine they do.
The theatres themselves are pristine, comfortable and intimate. From the loungeroom-like 68 seater to the more spacious 277 seater, the Lighthouse's theatres make filmgoing an absolute pleasure (if it isn't already!)
The films themselves are not your generic, run of the mill Jennifer Aniston romantic comedies. The Lighthouse Cinema shows more of an art house, independent variety of films with a focus on independent Irish productions and foreign films.
There is a cafe/bar in the lower section of this architect's dream of a building, and it is definitely worth a visit.
The Lighthouse opened in its current location in May last year, and has since become a popular destination for the trendies of Dublin 7. Lads, if you want to impress a woman, this is a good place to start. She will be so taken aback by your chic, laid-back cool that you will be lining up date number two in no time.
This cinema is located in Smithfield market square on the north side of Dublin . A very large open space which was created in the 17th century . This area was rejuvenated recently and it is pleasant to see a bit of modern architecture compliment the absolutely classic and historical old design
It is a bout 15 minutes walk from the city centre. It is easiest to get there on the red luas line , which stops right outside the square.
The films that are shown are mainly Indie/Arthouse . This is brilliant because mainstream cinemas are a dime a dozen. This is the place to go if you want to watch quality made and diverse movies from all around the world. They occasionally host special screenings with Q & A from the actual director of the movie. The staff are very friendly and accomadating
As you walk towards your screen , there is a cafe with seating and table area. They don't sell popcorn or ice cream, which isn't surprising considering the films are aimed at a more sophisticated audience like me :p .I was gasping for a magnum but a double espresso perked me up for optimum cinema viewing just as well
The interior design of this building has a major WOW factor .It has a real classy modern art gallery/ exibition feel about it. Plush is a good word to describe it. I love the extremely wide wooden staircase with the modern decor and lighting. The cinema is very impressive with spacious red comfy seats. Really loved this place, both as a venue and a place to watch a gold quality movie in comfort.
Really good cinema. Its aesthetically pleasing i suppose which is a good thing. Im going to get beaten up. Sure all the hipsters love it. Lots of leg room which makes it even better for a short arse like me. But the plus six footers with us were happy too. Wish id gone to see Loose Canon and not The Kings speech. One can only stomach so much pomposity cant one-curtsy
Oh and they block phone signals which I think is great. If your wifes expecting dont go to the cinema.
Met a friend in the front bar there for coffee last week. The futuristic lighting and red cuboid furniture felt a little cold, as was the coffee. I returned to the bar and asked for hot coffee. The obligatory smouldering Italian barista smouldered obligingly and then provided free refills without fuss. Perhaps the atmosphere of the bar works better at night, when one is dressed in highly structured clothing and discussing plans for a cutting edge science fiction project.
I have seen some great movies at the Lighthouse. Curious to know what their funding structure is, as the average audience size seems to be about a dozen. The expansive interior with wide steps, evocative of tiered arena seating, is begging to be used for some avant-garde forum event.
I went here with my wife on a Saturday evening to see Moon, and was surprised at how empty the place was. That was fine though, as we were able to enjoy the super classy interior and run down the sloped floors when the staff weren't looking.
The seating was comfortable and colourful (the color of each seat is seemingly random, trying to spot a pattern may cause headaches), and the room only had about 10 other people in it. This is probably bad for the Lighthouse, but was fine with us.
You can get to Smithfield via the Luas, or if you're driving there's an underground garage nearby.
Love this place! It kind of took me a while to find-very unobtrusive entrance for such a fabulous space.
Great films here with friendly staff. The building is so airy and filled with colour and shiny wood. Cosy screens though with excellent picture and sound. I went to matinees a couple of times this week and they were quiet which was lovely.
I think I may have to adopt it as "my" cinema. There will be plenty to keep me occupied anyway!
Really nice cinema in Smithfield, an area of the city that lacked entertainment options that didn't involve alcohol up to now. On the square, close to the LUAS, nice screens, comfy seats, reasonably priced cinema food and drink (why oh why does every other cinema charge such rip off prices? well, I know it's very profitable but really, €3.80 for a large coke IMC, please?!?!).
Screens mainly art-house movies and a little further to get to if you're coming across the city but it is very close to a LUAS stop, so no excuses. Close to the Cobblestone for a few pints after if you do need the alcohol fix.
It's mainly below ground level, so there are a few stairs and I'm not sure about wheelchair access-- I imagine that have lifts but check ahead.
Ireland has one of the highest cinema going populations in Europe so it is a good job that this beacon of independent cinema made a return. The light House Cinema closed down over ten years ago but has now reopened in trendy Smithfield. Who decides if an area is trendy or not? I don't find Smithfield trendy at all!
This place has a cool pristine decor and excellent state of the art sound system and four screens showing the best in art house cinema. Old and new films from around the world are shown and run for as long as they are drawing a crowd!
Don't be scared, I know its over 'the other side' of the city, come and see the space aged wonder that is the new Lighthouse cinema in everyone's favourite yuppified area, Smithfield.
I have a traumatic memory of the old lighthouse, being made go there for a Birthday party as a kid to see 'The Navigator'.The film is about time travel and the black death, so you can imagine how that went down with a bunch of 8 year olds, my social standing was forever damaged. Happily I've become more eclectic in my film taste since and was as happy as any other sight and sound reader to hear that the Lighthouse was re-opening in Smutfield.
As Jo says the place is worth a look even if your not going to a movie, sorry film, its art house here mainly. With a very modern and bright design, careful on that stairs its like a bob-sleigh run. You know your not in UCI or Cinewould because there won't be a rom-com in sight, unless its subtitled and everyone dies in the end. The also have a like wine bar, of course they do, as you walk in on the right.
Seriously though, I'm a big fan of the Lighthouse and don't get there enough, certainly great to see another new art-house and limited run cinema, it usually shows similar stuff to the IFI as well as the odd crowd pleaser. Thomas Reads is next door too so you can retire for a post cinema pint to talk shite about the movie, sorry film.
The response to the closing of this place says it all really. People mourned, businesses (cafes, restaurants) closed in the area and there was a huge outcry. Suddenly Smithfield was losing its essence.
Since its re-opening its gone from strength to strength. There is no better cinema experience in Dublin. The building is architecturally perfect (an old car park revamped into a cinema), the cinema is very spacious, the decor is cool, the staff are friendly, the cafe is always full of nice things and there's wine :)
They always have a great selection of movies, a nice mix of art-house and classic cinema. I just really love this place and I'm so happy that they were able to re-open. It breathes new life and possibilities into Smithfield.
The original Lighthouse Cinema (in Abbey Street) was hugely popular with the art house crowd but let down by a severe lack of space. Its closure a few years ago would have been a great loss but for the existence of the IFC Cinemas - these (along with the Screen D'Olier Street) still gave Dubliners a decent choice of art house fare.
The renaissance of the Lighthouse is, however, still a gift to the cinema going public. The screens are a good size and, in marked contrast to the old Lighthouse, very comfortable. The multicoloured seats are the equal of anything in a multiplex and the projection and sound were quite good during the film I saw there.
This cinema boasts more space than the old Lighthouse could dream of and the provision of a cafe should help to make it somewhere worth visiting whether you wish to see a film or not. Seating areas abound and the amenities are quite good. If you're meeting a friend get there early, have a coffee and lounge around for a while. If you only just get there in time hang around for a while afterwards.
It feels churlish to look for flaws but as most of it is a subterranean complex it would have been nice if more of the seating areas had natural light and it might benefit from the provision of a book shop - there is certainly enough space for one.
Recommended and hopefully it will contribute to Smithfield becoming a social destination in its own right.
This is by far the best cinema in Dublin. It craps all over the IFI, which is its only real competitor in terms of the type of film they screen. Really nice spacious decor with oak wooden floors throughout and the multi-coloured seating in the cinemas themselves. Its never too packed either, which is great if you're a punter. I think this is to do with its location in Smithfield which if anything is a bonus.
Having been a Light House Cinema virgin up until quite recently, it's safe to say I've popped my cherry now, with quite a few visits. Love the place. It's like going to see a film in a mate's house...if said mate happens to have massive screens and lots of different coloured chairs. Relaxed atmosphere, and always shows a diverse batch of movies, as well as hosting various film related events and premieres. This picture house is just cool.
I feel sorry for the people who run this cinema, the movies they show tend to be really good, its excellently designed and the screens are great, but any time I've been its usually emptier than a hermits address book. Unfortunately it seems that Dublin doesn't have enough non-mainstream movie fans to justify its existence. I wish them the best though.
Stunning building. Great location. Really good movies. Comfortable seats.
Gorgeous interior. Mod lounge furniture. Art-house films. Without inflated prices? Incredible.
Great cinema with a great selection of movies and great audience. I would recommend to go for a pint after the movie at the Cobblestone bar just 2 min from the Lighthouse cinema
How this gem is not absolutely packed every weekend I'll never know. Not only does it show great art house/foreign movies it also does the odd blockbuster. (Old man rant alert) Why on earth would anyone go to Dundrum, which is more expensive, always packed, noisy and full of irritating, snotty kids? The furniture is comfortable, spacious and you can get coffee and treats in the cafe. I think I was dreaming last time I was there because I thought I saw a sign that said you could bring any wine purchased on the premises into the film. If that's true I am going every weekend, don't care what's on.
The Light House is a great addition to Smithfield. It used to be in town years ago but closed down for some time only to re-emerge in this very cool part of Dublin. The cinema itself is funkily decorated with lots of splashes of colour, and it has four screens along with a cafe/bar as well if people just want to hang out.
I went to a movie premiere here last year and I really enjoyed it. The film was shown in one of the smaller screening rooms and the visual and sound were perfect. The wine that was being served before and after was less than perfect, but I wouldn't hold that against anyone! The Cobblestone is only across the square anyway so if you're not in the mood for vino you can head here for a nice pint after seeing a movie.
Cool movies, super cafe, large, trendy building. But it's about the movies innit. Great selection available, from main stream to outre, and then some. Watch out for concessions and parent and child specials. Late night showings too, and a late opening cafe and bar makes it a perfect place to socialize into the evening, and sme movies are even suitable for dancing in the isles too. Location is a bit iffy, but the handy dublinbikes.ie stand nearby means you can get out of there quickly!
This is easily my favorite place to see a movie in Dublin. The space and layout are amazing, and usually the movies are worth seeing.
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