The Olympia theatre in Dublin, Ireland has become embroiled in a row over its name.
It was announced recently that the theatre had a new sponsorship deal with mobile phone company Three. Now, it will be known as 3Olympia.
Public opinion has not been kind. One user on Twitter, Andy Sheridan, made a note of saying that people will not call the venue by its new name. He referred to other Irish venues including the Aviva Stadium, named after the insurance company, which most people still refer to as Lansdowne Road.
“It’s called the Olympia… simple as that,” he wrote.
The theatre was founded in 1879 and started out life as The Star of Erin Music Hall before eventually becoming the Olympia in 1923.
In the 1970s it was taken over by Gerry Sinnott. The Olympia has hosted a mixture of Irish and international talent including Charlie Chaplin, David Bowie, Radiohead and Adele.
Speaking to The Guardian, Fiona Sinnott, daughter of the late Gerry Sinnott, said: “It should not be possible to provide support and make the headline sponsorship perfectly visible without an act of cultural vandalism that damages both brands and erodes the trust of the people of Dublin.”
She added: “History matters. Our culture is part of the beating heart of Ireland, and with the greatest respect to Three, a global telecoms entity based in Hong Kong doesn’t perhaps understand that.”
However, also speaking to The Guardian, Caroline Downey – who is the current owner of Olympia – said the eight-year sponsorship deal with Three Ireland will help the theatre recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said: “This new partnership is more important than ever in supporting the venue to reopen its doors once again.”
Sinnott is proposing a petition – boosted by support on social media – and may even lobby for a law to protect cultural names, it has been reported.