The Stella Cinema in Rathmines was named the best cinema in the UK and Ireland by Time Out Magazine, the travel and entertainment guide. It was one of six Irish cinemas featured on the top 50 list.
Established in 1923, there’s a long history that the Stella Cinema’s art deco interior suggests. It’s a theatre from a bygone era and feels more like the film set of a period drama than a mainstream cinema right through a busy main road in Rathmines.
The Light House Cinema in Smithfield ended up in 15th place in the same list, while the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar is ranked 23rd. The Phoenix Cinema in Dingle ranked number 48. In the North, Strand Arts Centre ranked 32 and Queen’s Film Theatre hit number 11 on the list.
For a cinema that was once known as ‘the flea house’ by locals, it has come a long way. After closing down in 2004, it was restored by the Press Up Group in 2017. Time Out described its refurbishment as ‘Gatsby-esque’, and it’s easy to see why.
Seating 216 at full capacity, the theatre features rows of vintage leather armchairs, each with a dimly lit side table. It boasts a full cocktail bar in the former ballroom of the Stella in the 1920s. It really is a far-flung memory of prohibition-era New York, with a glass atrium and a large front facing window overlooking Rathmines.
Earlier this year, Time Out also ranked the cinema number 16 on the top 50 most beautiful cinemas in the world.
The Cinema took to Instagram to share their joy at making the top of the list, promising cinema-goers “a lot of exciting plans to come over the next few months.”