Planning permission to turn the former Viking Adventure Centre in Temple Bar into a theatre complex has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála. One of the appellants fears the theatre could turn the quieter old city neighbourhood of Temple Bar into an area of “late night entertainment”. Two appeals have been submitted to the planning board on foot of planning permission granted to Smock Alley Ltd to build two theatre spaces and a new home for the Gaiety School of Acting on the site of the former St Michael and St John’s Church on Exchange Street Lower, Dublin 8. The site also incorporates the walls of the original Smock Alley Theatre dating from the 17th century, the oldest theatre in the British Isles. Adjoining buildings – formerly a boys and girls school – are now used by the Cultivate Living & Learning Centre and form part of the site. The proposal is to incorporate a 140-seat Black Box theatre with a bar/café and studio space for the Gaiety School of Acting. A new 220-seat theatre will also be provided in the former church and will also incorporate the walls of the old Smock Alley Theatre.
The Irish Times