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Strand Cinema Belfast

Strand Cinema Belfast


Strand Arts Centre was established as a registered charity in 2013 and has attracted 50,000 annually to a diverse programme of:

  • new releases, classic and cultural cinema, and special event screenings including introduction or Q&A
  • live theatre, music, festival and literature events
  • free weekly film clubs for children and young people
  • creative workshops in film, animation, music production, performing arts and playwriting

We’ve identified and met the need for additional arts provision in east Belfast:

  • Hosting NiStars with weekly performing arts classes in drama and dance.
  • Employing local artists to deliver weekly arts and crafts and storytelling workshops themed to our educational film screenings.
  • Scratch nights for emerging musicians and comedians to try out their act in front of an audience.
  • Weekly live theatre, music and cabaret productions that would not otherwise be seen in east Belfast.
  • Hosting regular amateur and youth performing arts productions.
  • Tribute bands appealing to an older demographic.
  • Summer programme of arts and crafts workshops for all ages.
  • Participation in cultural initiatives including Fun Palaces and Culture Night.
  • School projects linking to the curriculum about subjects including moving image and the Holocaust.

Since starting out as an arts centre in 2013 we’ve hosted numerous live theatre and music events on the stage in Screen 2:

  • incredible artists including Van Morrison, Linley Hamilton, Dana Masters, Simon Felice and Mercury Rev
  • live theatre including The Breakfast Club, Withnail and I, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Carny Noir
  • popular tribute act nights including The Bjorn Identity and The Elvis Spectacular
  • a growing number of arts festivals including EastSide Arts Festival, CS Lewis Festival, Open House, Moving on Music, Belfast International Arts Festival, Belfast Children’s Festival and many more.

And we’ve had some really memorable special cinema events too:

  • Oscar winner Neil Jordan introducing a 20-year anniversary screening of Interview with a Vampire
  • Premiere of feel-good local hit Good Vibrations about maverick record label boss Terri Hooley
  • Richard Dawkins’ first visit to Northern Ireland when he and Lawrence Klaus hosted a Q&A before screening The Unbelievers
  • Screening of the original 1980 horror classic Friday the 13th plus Q&A with director Sean S. Cunningham
  • Hollywood star John Cusack visits the Strand for Belfast Film Festival screening of Max followed by a Q&A

Awards & Nominations

  • FINALIST Contribution to the Arts – EastSide Awards 2023
  • WINNER Best Cinema Experience – NI Hospitality Awards 2023
  • WINNER Contribution to the Arts – EastSide Awards 2019
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED – Belfast Healthy Cities Awards 2019 for our Silver Screenings
  • WINNER Best Cinema Experience – NI Hospitality Awards 2019
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED Social Entrepreneur of the Year – CO3 Leadership Awards 2019
  • NOMINEE Belfast Business Awards 2018 in category of Best Age-Friendly Business for our Silver Screenings
  • WINNER Contribution to the Arts – EastSide Awards 2017

The Strand is also used on a regular basis by schools, local businesses, charities and community groups – we even have a weekly yoga class! And our Community Engagement Manager works with many organisations and partners to deliver on community needs – workshops and creative learning with schools, talking points for our weekly Silver Screenings, pop-up screenings and our annual lantern parade with Wandsworth Community Association and EastSide Arts.

The vision is to restore the Strand in a way that maximises its art deco heritage and enables the development of a high quality, sustainable, creative arts space and encourages the community to enjoy a range of art forms. The project is expected to bring positive and demonstrable economic and social benefits to East Belfast.