The Savoy Cinema was opened by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Frank J. Wallace, on 12 May 1932. It was the most luxurious of all Cork cinemas and had by far the greatest spectator capacity, with seats for almost 2,250 patrons. The art deco exterior was a stylish addition to the streetscape. It hosted the Cork Film Festival from its beginning in 1956.
One of the most popular features of the cinema was the Crompton organ. The University Concert Hall in Limerick now houses the organ. Fred Bridgeman played the organ before the screening of the main feature on Sunday nights and the audience sang to the music as the words were displayed on the cinema screen.
The development of television and a decline in attendances at cinemas hastened the closure of the Savoy Cinema in early 1975. In its place, the Savoy Centre, incorporating a shopping mall and a concert hall, opened in 1977.