The site was previously occupied by a four-storey cinema building comprising 10no. screens and two commercial units at ground floor. The neighbouring site still comprises a 500 space multi-storey car park built at the same time as the cinema building. The £12m scheme was designed by Consarc Design Group and developed by the Sheridan Group between 1992 – 1993 (planning ref: Z/1990/2630).
Richland Belfast One Ltd (part of the Richland Group) submitted a planning application (LA04/2017/0562/F) in March 2017 proposing to demolish the existing cinema building (excluding the multi-storey car park) and develop a 12 storey Grade A office building comprising eleven floors of offices (250,000ft2) above a ground floor foyer and retail units (7,500ft2) and basement parking (50 spaces). The proposal also comprised refurbishment of Bankmore Square open space and public realm works to adjacent footpaths. The application was recommended approval in May 2017 but was later withdrawn in December 2020. The proposed £65m scheme was designed by Todd Architects.
Kainos Group plc announced in February 2019 that it had agreed to acquire the site from Movie House Cinemas Ltd for the development of Kainos’ future Belfast headquarters. The purchase price was reportedly £7.05m, with a 10% deposit paid on exchange and the balance due upon completion.
Kainos submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (LA04/2020/0297/PAN) in February 2020 proposing a new £40m office development on the site.
The Movie House Cinema was scheduled to close on 26th April 2020 but closed earlier in March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and ‘lockdown’.
McCormack Demolition commenced demolition of the former Movie House building in May 2021.
Seven7Social Ltd submitted a planning application (LA04/2021/1703/F) in July 2021 proposing temporary (for 2 years) shipping containers on the site to form an outdoor public house, food and retail market with associated covered canopies, seating and boundary treatments. The application was approved in May 2022.