Strand Arts Centre: Make sure you get to see The Last Picture Show

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By Una Murphy

The Strand Arts Centre, east Belfast’s not-for-profit cinema and arts venue – and now the oldest cinema in Northern Ireland – will screen The Last Picture Show as part of Cinema Day today.

The event has been organised by Film Hub NI which is part of the BFI Film audience network and a new initiative which celebrates 120 years of film exhibition in Northern Ireland.

The Last Picture Show directed by Peter Bogdanovich and released in 1971, tells of a bleak small town in Texas and features the lives and loves of two 1950s high school students played by Timothy Bottoms and Jeff Bridges. Actors Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson won Oscars for their work in supporting role. Cybill Shepherd also stars.

2000s Outside of Strand at night


The Strand has occupied a corner site on the Holywood Road since 1935. The building’s curved doors and porthole windows were influenced by its proximity to Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff. RPP architects won an RIA architectural award in 1998 for renovating the façade.

On the tour you will see the Art Deco and shipyard influenced design (curved walls, porthole doors and lighting), 35mm film and digital projectors.

Tours throughout the afternoon on both days.

The Stand’s unique Art Deco architecture will be highlighted during a heritage tour at 5.30pm today ahead of the screening at 7pm. Tour and film cost £5 and film only is £3.

Can’t make today’s tour? The Stand is also one of 300 historic buildings which will be opening its doors for free heritage tours as part of European Heritage Open Day programme on September 10 and 11.



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