Fundraising Efforts To Cover Cinema Equipment Costs Continue At Excel Centre In Bid For Reopening In March

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Fundraising efforts are to continue to cover the cost of repairs to essential equipment in the Tipperary Excel Centre in a bid to reopen at least the two smaller cinema theatres by the end of March.

The cinema closed on June 15th 2023 for what was expected to be a two-week closure.

Chairperson of the Board of the Excel Elaine Fitzpatrick says the cost of equipment repairs and replacement continues to increase.

The equipment is 12 years old for the most part and it’s operation is also impacted by the heating and air conditioning system. While some of the cinema equipment functions it is not consistent which leads to a poor customer experience.

A total of  €28,000 has been raised  locally and a donor abroad will donate €50,000 if a similar sum can be raised by the Board.

Repairs would cost an estimated €50,000 but works on LED lighting, a sound system for the Simon Ryan Theatre and repairs to the heating system all require the larger sum of at least €100,000 to be sourced.

Starting on February 1st the Excel Board will become owner operators of the French Quarter Café in the Excel instead of being the effective Café landlord as was the case for the last 18 years.

The present owners Loic L’Herrou & Annemarie Ryan are to retire.  All existing staff are to be retained with additional staff to be hired in the short term and a possible Saturday Café opening if the Cinema is restored – especially important as the cinema food shop is a profitable revenue centre.

The Excel is now seeking local donors to contribute €250 each with the donor getting a tax benefit and the Excel benefitting by a net total of €362.32 when the tax benefit is included.

Ms Fitzpatrick says the Court Service is not expected to return  to the Excel building despite using it for 8 years prior to the pandemic – in early 2020 the air handling system in the Dance Theatre was upgraded at the Court Services’ request.

Tipperary District Court has been sitting in Nenagh Courthouse since the pandemic.