Opera House for Strokestown?

Businesswoman’s ‘visionary’ plan  Paul Hickey  The new owner of the old Club Cinema building at Bawn Street, Strokestown has hinted that she may develop an Opera House there in the coming years.   Speaking to Roscommon People Dublin-based businesswoman Ms. Lorraine Murray confirmed that she bought the premises recently. It has been suggested in recent weeks that a cinema will be developed on the Bawn Street premises. Ms. Murray poured cold water on this suggestion, however, and said that she hopes to build an ‘opera facility’ there in the next ‘five to ten years’.   Local Councillor Seán Beirne has welcomed Ms. Murray’s long-term plan as ‘visionary’. Cllr. Beirne said that he would prefer an arts centre or auditorium to be developed at the landmark site, however, and confirmed that he will be lobbying for those in the coming months.   ‘I am very pleased that Ms. Murray is interested in developing the old Club Cinema. There is a fine tradition of music and drama in Strokestown and her intention to develop a facility there is visionary.   ‘I would encourage her to look towards developing an arts centre rather than an opera house. This would be of more benefit to the area and would probably be a more successful business venture for Ms. Murray too. The local drama group will produce Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on the 17th of April in Roscommon Arts Centre. It is a pity that they can’t produce it in an arts centre in Strokestown,’ said Cllr. Beirne.   The Club Cinema was built by Billy and Teresa Chapman in 1940. The Chapman family sold the premises in recent years.