A new theatre is to open on the site of the former Oscar Cinema in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
The building first opened as the Ritz Cinema in 1929 with the slogan
Always a good show.
However, in the 1970s with competition from the bigger cinemas for the latest releases, the cinema was forced to close. The curtains are now to open again on 10 January 1977 with a new lease of life for the venue as the Oscar Theatre.
The conversion of the cinema to a theatre cost around £17,000 and involved the construction of a stage, dressing rooms and a wine bar.
Colm Connolly spoke to Ronan Wilmot, General Manager of the new theatre and formerly with the Abbey Theatre, about his plans for the venue. The Oscar Theatre will open with a world premiere of a play called 'There Was A Young Man' written by Matthew Dolan. The production will run for four weeks, with six other production companies from Ireland and abroad, booked in for the first half of 1977. There are also plans for late night entertainment in the form of jazz concerts, recitals and poetry readings.
My plan in general is to make the place as active as possible.
Ronan Wilmot also comments on the challenges of theatre as a commercial industry describing it as
A very dodgy exercise.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 January 1977. The reporter is Colm Connolly.