The Gaiety School of Acting has started a fundraising drive to reopen the historic Smock Alley Theatre in the west end of Temple Bar. Dating back to 1662, the theatre was closed 200 years ago and the venue used as a market before being converted into a church in 1811. Restorers have found the original theatre is still intact inside the building. Well-known actor, Liam Neeson, has joined forces with Gaiety to seek public and private funding for the initiative, which would see the creation of a 220-seat main house, a 110-seat studio theatre and three rehearsal areas on the site of the original Smock Alley. Owners of the building, the Temple Bar Trust, are supporting the project.