The Stella is a historical landmark of culture in Dublin. The theatre was restored in 2017 to reflect the glamour of 1920s’ film houses. It was once the largest cinema in Ireland with a capacity of 1,283 and also housed a ballroom on the ground floor. Now, capacity has been reduced to 216 with seating on the ground floor as well as the balcony but it still retains a sense of luxury. Furthermore, it was rated number 16 out of a list of 20 of the most beautiful cinemas in the world.
The Stella is notorious for the far-more comfortable seating in the cinema with cinemagoers being able to choose armchairs, couches or beds to watch their film from. Each seat has leather ottomans for audience members to rest their legs on. Having been to the Stella twice (to watch Joker (2019) and No Time to Die (2021)), it’s certainly not something you would want to expend on regularly. Walking in, one can instantly tell it’s not just a regular cinema with the mosaiced tiles, chandelier and mirrored bar in the foyer.
It offers traditional cinema confectionery and snacks such as popcorn, nachos and chocolate but goes a step further with meals one can order. These include cheeseburgers, parmesan fries and milkshakes. As well as that, you can order beers and wine to be brought to you by waiters while you sit in your pre-booked seat. Above the cinema, there is also a Cocktail bar which despite the expensive cocktails, has an old-money Esque charm to it and a cosy ambience.
The cinema itself has an old-money rich aesthetic with velvet interiors and dark maroon lamp shades lighting the way to different seats. The screen itself is comfortably large and one doesn’t have to strain their neck to watch the film, even while lying back on to the armchair. The popcorn isn’t anything special, it’s your typical cinema popcorn. The only difference with drinks is that they ditch the plastic cups and straws and instead you get a glass with a slice of lemon in your drink.
It’s an excellent spot for a date night, or for treating yourself to something special for a film you’ve been waiting to watch. If you’re looking for a more relaxed environment and something more laid-back, I wouldn’t recommend visiting as the atmosphere is quite different to the commercial cinemas that we are used to.
Going to the Stella is a lovely evening out and it certainly feels more special than going to any old cinema. However, it’s definitely not something students can afford on the regular as larger commercial cinemas offer tickets for as cheap as €5 on certain days during the week. One ticket for an armchair seat, which is the cheapest, costs €19.99 and that’s not including money spent on food and drinks (the price of which is comparable to most cinemas).
However, if you want to treat yourself and enjoy a luxurious experience of watching a special film, then the Stella is an excellent way to spend the evening.
Mahnoor Choudhry – Co-Editor