Olympia Theatre revamp gets green light as key changes dropped
Dublin City Council has given the green light for a facelift of 3Olympia on Dame Street.
that council gave Olympia Productions Unlimited permission for the overhaul, but only after the owners backed out of major features of the planned changes to the theater’s exterior.
Last year, Denis Desmond and Caroline Downey’s Olympia Productions Unlimited submitted plans to Dublin City Council to refurbish the front facade of the 3Olympia Theatre.
The plans followed five months after Olympia was rebranded in an eight-year sponsorship deal.
However, the theater operator has chosen not to keep some key components of the planned new look after the council raised concerns.
The centerpiece of the refurbishment was to be a large art deco arch featuring ‘3Olympia’ on each side and the refurbishment also included three LED advertising screens.
However, the large art deco arch is no longer part of the proposal and the LED screens have also been omitted.
“Overall, we are pleased with the result and look forward to starting the ongoing renovation of 3Olympia in the coming months,” said Denis Desmond.
Planning consultant for Olympia Productions, John Spain, told the council the revised proposals “will contribute to a high quality development which will ensure the efficient reuse of a listed structure and add positively to the streetscape on Dame Street”.
The council ordered the arch to be removed after its conservation office said it had “serious concerns that the proposed art deco arched metal feature is excessive”.
The original proposal also included plans to repaint 3Olympia’s red exterior in gray.
The planner in this case stated that the proposed new paint scheme is not supported and as part of the conditions attached to the permit, full details on the final color scheme for the facade must be agreed with the council.
Olympia Productions will appoint a conservation expert to design, manage, monitor and implement the works.
Two individuals objected to the initial changes, with one claiming the proposal would “irreparably damage the special character of this historic building and contribute to the loss of the built heritage of Dublin city”.
The opponent added that “the red color on the facade is what gives the building its iconic character.”
A second individual said the proposed new color “is a profoundly unsympathetic treatment of our beloved Olympus”.
“Of course, any building can be any color, but theaters are almost always red; and Olympia has been red for as long as I’ve known it,” they added.
The Olympia Theater was founded in 1879 as the music hall of Dan Lowrey’s Star of Erin. It underwent several name changes and became Olympia in 1923.
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