Silver Cinema

York Street,
Belfast, BT15 1ED

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Electric Cinema, BB Picture Palace, PP Pictures, People's Popular Picture Palace, Palace Cinema

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Located in an already existing building on York Street, Belfast. The Electric Cinema was opened on 22nd August 1910 by Fred Stewart, one of the city’s cinema pioneers. It was the second cinema to open in the city in 1910, and was the first to open in the city centre. Its popularity, rather ironically, appears to have led to its demise, as, despite its many name changes, finally becoming the Silver Cinema around 14th December 1912, it closed in 1915 after only five years, when Mr Stewart opened in 1916 a larger cinema, the New York Cinema, just across York Street.

The building was eventually destroyed by a German incendiary bomb during the Blitz in 1941. In the late-1990’s the College of Art occupied the site.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Torchlight on November 5, 2018 at 6:13 am

The Electric Cinema, which opened on 22 August 1910, was the second of five cinemas to open in the city that year (it was the first year of a cinema building boom in Belfast, which continued right through to 1920). All the evidence suggests the Electric was rather primitive (and not custom or purpose built as has been suggested), indeed Fred Stewart the owner closed it after a few months (possibly in October). Its replacement was much improved but didn’t open until April 1911. From then on its name kept changing, with variations including – BB (Bright & Beautiful) Picture Palace, PP (Perfect & Pleasant) Pictures and People’s Popular Picture Palace. Just when it seemed it had settled on The Palace (or the York Street Picture Palace), there was yet another change. Around 14 December 1912 it became the Silver Cinema and this time it stuck with the name, until its closure in 1915.

The Electric was the first cinema to open in the city centre in 1910. The site is now part of the Belfast campus of Ulster University.

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