Tonic Cinema

102 Hamilton Road,
Bangor, BT20

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Biffaskin on July 1, 2023 at 2:46 pm

Architect was John McBride Neill.

davidcoppock on April 10, 2019 at 6:08 am

Maybe that council should be investigated?

Torchlight on April 10, 2019 at 3:41 am

Within a few months of opening the Tonic, John O'Neill got into financial difficulties and had to sell his beloved cinema. The new owner, from November 1936, was Curran Theatres, one of the leading locally owned chains. By December 1956 it had become part of Odeon (Northern Ireland) Ltd. It was not until 3rd March 1969, however, that the Tonic name was dropped in favour of Odeon. In November 1974 it passed into local ownership again, this time as part of Belfast Cinemas Ltd. Around 7th March 1975 it reverted to the Tonic name and it remained that way until its closure on 29th October 1983.

Torchlight on January 18, 2019 at 3:21 am

According to ‘Bangor An Historical Gazetteer’ (by Marcus Patton, UAHS, 1999), John O'Neill founded the Tonic Bus Service (which ran from Bangor to Donaghadee). Having sold the business to the N I Road Transport Board, he invested the anticipated proceeds in a cinema, named after his bus service; the cinema cost £76,000. It has been described as the finest example of cinema architecture in the province and at the time of opening was the second largest on the island of Ireland.

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on April 9, 2017 at 6:37 am

Stevelaw. We have a similar council in Liverpool.

stevelaw on November 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm

The Tonic had been a Landmark building for many years, however the local Council had made plans.They firstly removed its historical listing.Then, a mysterious fire which actually failed to totally destroy the building. Refusing to be beaten, the Council reported in the local paper that “concrete sickness” had been found and The Tonic’s fate had been sealed. This is not unusual behaviour for the Council.The Grand Hotel or Barry’s Amusements as it had become, met a similar fate with a fire then demolition under strange circumstances.All we can do is mourn these Great buildings as we are powerless to save them.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm

A set of demolition photographs, taken in July 1992 here:
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