Ricky Gervais in 'The Invention of Lying': cinemas have seen a boost in the wake of the recession

The Butler brothers, who own the UCI cinema chain, are understood to be in talks with developers Mick and Tom Bailey to open a cineplex at their Charlestown shopping centre in Finglas in west Dublin. Colum and Ciaran Butler have owned the cinema chain since 2006 when they bought Odeon's Irish chain.

Cinemas have been boosted by the number of people looking to avoid the expense of pubs and restaurants. Films such as The Invention of Lying starring Ricky Gervais (right), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen have helped maintain their takings.

The brothers also own the Leisureplex chain and are also interested in opening it at Charlestown. They sold their Leisureplex site in Stillorgan to the Treasury Holdings controlled Real Estate Opportunities for €65m in 2006. Their other business interests include themed restaurant chains Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Fridays.

UCI has cinemas in Tallaght, Blanchardstown and Coolock. The Tallaght cinema was sold to developer Noel Smyth as part of his plans to redevelop The Square shopping centre but was leased back to the Butlers so they continue to trade. The cinema had had a licence for the car park at the shopping centre, which Smyth needed to own before redevelopment could go ahead.

A number of cinema operators are looking to expand at present including Vue and Cineworld. The biggest chain in Ireland, which is controlled by the Ward Anderson group, is to open a new cinema in Rathmines in the coming weeks after a 10-year planning battle while new entrant Showtime, which opened its first cinema in Ashbourne in June, is planning to invest €20m in opening five new cinemas.

Charlestown is anchored by Dunnes and Heatons and other tenants include Lifestyle Sports and Jack n Jones.