Terenure Enterprise Centre used to be the Classic Cinema. The Classic was opened in 1938.
This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.
Terenure Enterprise Centre
From around 1909 when Dublin’s first cinema was opened in Mary Street by the writer James Joyce until the 1970s, most areas in Dublin had their own cinema. Going to the cinema was very popular with Dublin people before there was any television. Many cinemas had been specifically built for showing films and they were very posh and comfortable places to go to.
Terenure had its own cinema, too. It was called The Classic and was opened on 1 July 1938 in the building which now houses the Terenure Enterprise Centre.
Before the cinema was built the site was the end station of the Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway Company. The funny thing is this was not a tram service, it was actually a train service between Dublin and Blessington in Wicklow. It started in 1888. The carriages were pulled by a steam engine which always sent out thick black smoke. The poor passengers in the third-class carriages which were open at the sides went out with white faces and came back with black faces. First-class passengers were better off as the sides were covered in.
The tram service also transported goods and farm animals and if you wanted you could board almost anywhere along the line – the train would stop for you. The trains were not allowed to go any faster than 12 miles per hour and the journey to Blessington took almost two hours. However, the service never made enough money as there were not enough passengers or goods, so in 1933 it closed down and the site of the station was sold. The Classic cinema was built on it instead.
The Classic could hold 750 people and had a car park as well as a special waiting room in the front so that nobody would have to queue on the footpath outside. It was very popular but the owners gave up the cinema business and it closed down in 1976.
The building was then sold and in 1984 opened as Terenure’s Enterprise Centre. It was set up to help people in the community to start up their own businesses. In 2004 President Mary McAleese came to the 20th anniversary celebrations and today there are around 30 businesses in the centre.