Arthouse cinema firm owed creditors €800,000

The Pálás cinema: original company behind the project owed creditors more than €800,000. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Galway City Tribune – The company behind the development of Galway’s controversial arthouse cinema owed its creditors more than €800,000 and had assets worth just €2,125 when it went into liquidation, new documents reveal.

Solas-Galway Picture Palace Company Limited was set up in 2004 to oversee the construction of an arthouse cinema in Galway city. It received over €7 million from public bodies for this purpose, as well as donations from the public.

The project was dogged by controversy, overspending and delay before it finally opened last year, having spent much of the previous decade as a vacant construction site.

The company, which had charitable status, entered liquidation in July 2017 after transferring a substantial portion of its assets and liabilities, as well as responsibility for completing the cinema, to a third-party operator. The liquidation process is ongoing.

Documents just filed to the Companies Registration Office by the liquidator show that the firm owes €821,353 to unsecured creditors, but its only asset was a bank balance of €2,125. All of this was used to pay the liquidator’s fees. Since shortly before its completion, the operation of the cinema was taken over by Element Pictures.
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