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Strand Cinema Belfast

Strand Cinema Belfast


Modelling our picture house past: revealing Belfast's Lost Cinemas

Sunday 16 June 


Exhibition open: 2pm – 5pm 

Artist’s Talk: 3pm

First floor gallery    Please note, unfortunately there is no step free access to the first floor gallery

At the end of the 1930s, Belfast boasted almost 40 cinemas or ‘picture houses’. Local designer Stuart Marshall has spent recent years researching this rich history and has painstakingly recreated some of the city’s lost cinemas in drawings and scale models. 

This exhibition presents together – for the first time – Stuart’s exquisite work, including models of the Curzon, the Mayfair and the Avenue. Also on display will be Stuart’s ‘work in progress’ of a 1:50 scale model of the Strand as it would have looked upon opening in 1935.  

This exhibition is a unique chance to both view this stunning work and learn more about the craft behind them. At 3pm Stuart will give an illustrated talk, and discuss his process of creating the models. 

Made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund


Image – James Ashe

Opening event 1st August 6pm – 9pm 
Connswater shopping centre is host to multiple arts organisations and community creatives such as Strand Arts Centre (while we are closed for refurbishment), Arts Care and Platform Arts.  Join us for a Late Night openings of art exhibitions and a live DJ in the centre. 
Free entry and open to all!

THROUGH THE EYE OF a lens: scenes of the strand by danny meegan

Opening 26th March 6pm – 7.30pm until 17th May
Danny is never out of reach of his camera, enabling him to respond to one-off, serendipitous moments in the world around him.
Working at the Strand Arts Centre since 2021, he has been able to capture fleeting moments within the iconic venue, be it a beautiful sunset, a packed screening, a ray of light pouring through a window.
His position at the Strand also gives him unusual insight and access into the venue, allowing him to take photographs of a unique candour and honesty. This honesty extends to Danny’s production of his images: in this age of ‘photoshop’ and image modification, he consciously does not utilise filters or tools of post-production.
Rather, he values the tools of the camera itself, experimenting with lenses, shutter speeds and aperture, resulting in the creation of a wide variety of images. However, throughout all of his photographs is a characteristic sense of playfulness.
The Strand is delighted to exhibit a range of these photographs together, for the first time. Taken in the final months of the Strand in its present form – prior to closure and refurbishment – the images in this exhibition take on particular significance. They are a fascinating document of the Strand in a specific point in its long history.
This will be a family friendly event, with refreshments and themed activities for kids.
The exhibition will continue until Sunday 7 April, drop in viewings 
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm (for other times call 02890655830 to arrange)
Made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
*Unfortunately there is no step free access to the first floor gallery space.

Neon : Illuminating 'the Pictures'

Sunday 19 May – one day only

(booking not required)

Exhibition open: 2pm – 5.30pm
Discussion: 3pm

First floor gallery
Please note, unfortunately there is no step free access 

[followed at 5.45pm by a screening of Casblanca – featuring iconic neon signage
at ‘Rick’s Café Américain’ – for a special price of £5]

The Strand Arts Centre is delighted to invite you to a special celebration of Neon which became closely intertwined with the development of cinema architecture from the 1930s.
The exhibition will feature rarely seen archival photographs, footage from NI Screen’s Digital Film Archive and, of course, bespoke neon lighting, alongside contemporary artworks utilising the unique lightform.
At 3pm join us for refreshments and a discussion on the past, present and future of Neon. Speakers will include the Strand’s Heritage Officer Rosie Hickey, visual artist Johanna Leech, and representatives from ‘AM Light’ Neon Manufacturers including ‘master glass-bender’ Adrian McNevison and ‘apprentice’ Chris McNevison.
Made possible by:
The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 
Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive with support from the Department for Communities. The UTV Archive in this exhibition is courtesy of the partnership project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)
Thanks to:
Johanna Leech and Stuart Calvin, of ongoing neon project ‘Bending Glass’
AM Light
Colman Rooney
Kevin Killen
Rosie Hickey