Plans for a seven screen cinema at the Marshes Shopping Centre have been given the go ahead by An Bord Pleanála.
The local shopping centre first applied for permission in December shortly after lodging an appeal with An Bord Pleanala after planning permission for another cinema project at Dundalk Retail Park was granted by Dundalk Town Council.
However in February the retail outlet was requested to supply further information including information on extractor fans and parking requirements.
The shopping centre will build the cinema on a site comprising 0.973ha on the southern part of the existing car park one, located to the east of the shopping centre.
The development will consist of a commercial building (3,050sqm gross floor area) comprising of a seven screen cinema with ticket kiosk and food and beverage sales area (2,288sqm) along with two restaurant units of 243sqm and 355sqm.
Revisions will also be made to the existing car park layout with a reduction of 213 parking spaces.
Permission was also granted for building mounted signage, hard and soft landscaping and all associated site and development works.
Marshes Shopping Centre Manager, Harry Traynor has previously stated that a cinema has always been on the table for the centre as the developers of the centre have great confidence in Dundalk.
IMC cinema at Carroll Village had previously objected to both developments at the Dundalk Retail Park and the Marshes.
The cinema opened in 1999 and currently employs twenty people.
The local cinema said the planned cinemas “threatens the viability of the existing cinema, a long established town centre use and should therefore be refused permission.”
In its objection to the plans, IMC Dundalk, stated that its own attendance numbers were down from 11% from the peak in 2007.
According to its own figures, 246,829 tickets were bought in 2009. In 2012, admission declined to 212,864.
Projected figures for 2013 showed a further decline to 210,000.
In relation to these figures, IMC state: “The reality of these figures is that the operation of an additional cinema less than 3km from the established cinema is simply not viable.
“There would be a gross over supply of cinema seats that would serve to unbalance the established town centre, drawing footfall from the retail core.”