Join filmmaker Brian Henry Martin on an alphabetical odyssey, a special illustrated talk to celebrate the golden age of the cinema.
In 1910, Belfast’s first custom built cinema opened on York Street. ‘The Electric Picture Palace’ exclusively presented moving pictures, distinct from the theatres and music halls that were previously used. Thus began a century plus love affair between the citizens of Belfast and the big screen. Whether it was the usherettes or the elaborate sets, the jam jars or the film stars. Over the years Belfast has boasted more than sixty different cinemas - each with a unique attraction and all with iconic names like ‘The Troxy’, ‘The Curzon’ and ‘The Majestic’.
When QFT first opened its doors in 1968, there were 22 other cinemas in the city. Sadly in the fifty years since that number may have declined but this city’s passion for the cinema has not diminished. Today, Belfast boasts a thriving screen industry, the envy of the world, where new films are not just programmed but produced by local talent.
“Was the golden age really in the past or are we, in fact, living in it now?” asks Brian Henry Martin. So why not come along and share your memories and take the ultimate cinematic trip?
Brian Henry Martin is a filmmaker, broadcaster and popcorn advocate from Belfast.
Since opening its doors in 1968 QFT has occupied a very special place in Belfast’s cultural landscape. Marking the culmination of a year-long AHRC funded research project undertaken by film scholar Dr Sam Manning, QFT presents a fascinating insight into its extraordinary fifty-year history.
In October 1968, Queen’s Film Theatre opened in a converted lecture hall on the university campus with a policy of ‘showing the best international films past and present’. Fifty years later, it remains a much-loved venue for cinema-goers in Belfast and beyond.