Imperial Picture House

Corn Market,
Belfast, BT1

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Imperial Picture House

The Imperial Picture House opened on 7 December 1914 with “Little Lord Fauntleroy” starring H. Agar Lyons and Gerald Royston. The interior was fitted out in high quality, artistic style, and there was an ‘old English’ tea-room.

The Imperial Picture House was closed on 28th November 1959, with owner George Lodge thanking the audience at the last show and inviting them to take away souvenirs of the old cinema! The final film appears to have been “Lonelyhearts”, starring Montgomery Clift, Robert Ryan and Myrna Loy. The Imperial Picture House was demolished, and shops now occupy the site.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Torchlight on February 6, 2024 at 2:09 am

A year before the Imperial opened its doors, the possibility of another cinema opening nearby was being contemplated. Provincial Cinematograph Theatres (PCT), having opened their Picture House in Royal Avenue in 1911, were looking at a second house in the city centre. To this end they had their eyes set on a site at 5/7 High Street (occupied by Hyams, clothiers and outfitters); the plan would have involved linking the rear of that building to an adjacent site which had its frontage at 12 Cornmarket (occupied by Linden’s “High class confectionery and pastry”) only a few doors away from the Imperial. Irish cinema historian and author Kevin Rockett says the project was considered too ambitious as it wouldn’t have produced an adequate return. It did not proceed.

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