Central Hall was originally built as a Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1821. Sunday School sessions and church concerts were held there, as well as funeral services for the deceased members of the congregation. The Central Hall closed in 1920 as the Methodist community relocated to O’Connell Street.

The Methodist Church was established in 1739 by John Wesley, as an evangelical Protestant Christian cultivation. The first conference of the Irish Methodists Church was held in Limerick in 1752, and it was chaired by John Wesley.

The building was re-opened by Paul Barnard as a cinema in November 1922 the Grand Central Cinema which was later known as Savoy 2 which closed completely in 2004.

In 1973 a shopfront had been inserted on the ground floor and access to the cinema was from one side of the building and up two flights of stairs.  The old art deco facade has been completely demolished in 2007 and the original church frontage is encased in a new modern glass fronted building on Bedford Row.

Central Hall
The ornate frontage of the Central Hall

Pigots 1824 directory of Ireland states

The Primitive Methodist chapel is in the same street with the Independent, and is a very large, respectable erection, and in every way adapted for numerous congregations.

While Deane’s 1838 Directory states:

Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Bedford Row –

Service was first performed in this House on Sunday, the 23d December 1821. It is a remarkable neat building in the gothic style, with a carved stone front, handsome entrance and Iron Balustrades. Preaching on Sundays, at eight o’clock in the morning and at 6 in the evening. Preaching also on Monday and Thursday evenings at 7 o’clock; – Prayer Meetings on the other week evenings (Saturday expected) at 7 o’clock and on the mornings of Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at half past 6 o’clock. Preacher, Mr Robert Connolly.