Imperial Picture House

Corn Market,
Belfast, BT1

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Torchlight on February 6, 2024 at 5:09 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.