Forum Cinema

491-495 Crumlin Road,
Belfast, BT14 7GA

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Rank Organisation

Architects: Robert Sharpe Hill

Functions: Bar, Community Center

Styles: Art Deco

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Forum Cinema

The Forum Cinema opened on 20 November 1937 with “Walking on Air” starring Gene Raymond and Ann Sothern. It was the last of the city’s cinemas to open before World War II. It was part of the Irish Theatres Group, and later the Rank Organisation.

The Forum Cinema closed on 28 January 1967. For some years the building was used as a social club. In the late-1990’s it was reported that “the site is occupied by the ABC Credit Union as well as a social club” and, although the fa├žade & foyer has been rebuilt as offices for the ABC Credit Union, the main auditorium at rear is still largely intact in use as the Crumlin Star Social Club.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Biffaskin
Biffaskin on July 2, 2023 at 1:40 am

Plans for the Forum were submitted to the planners in 1936 by architect Robert Sharpe Hill, but were these the ones actually built? A further set of plans for the Forum Cinema were submitted by architect John McBride Neill early in 1937 for a cinema and a shop. Neill’s work has been noted as being built in the ‘Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940’ online, whereas the line noting Hill’s work is left blank, indicating that it was not built at all….

Biffaskin
Biffaskin on July 2, 2023 at 2:58 am

To add to my above comments, also in 1937, a further cinema to the designs of architect Thomas Robert Eager are also listed in the above mentioned directory, however, only the road name is mentioned, no cinema name, so this could be a further plan for this site, or another along the Crumlin Road. Further work is needed to sort these out I fear!

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