Tivoli Cinema

Lisburn Road, Finaghy,
Belfast, BT10

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Odeon (Ireland) Ltd., Rank Organisation

Architects: John McBride Neill

Previous Names: Gaumont Finaghy

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Tivoli Cinema

The Tivoli Cinema, at the Finaghy crossroads on Lisburn Road, opened on 17th June 1955 with “The Night My Number Came Up” starring Michael Redgrave and Sheila Sim. It was built by Irish Cinemas Ltd, and they were taken over by Odeon Cinemas (Ireland) Ltd., the first and, until very recently, the only, cinema opened in Belfast by Odeon. Seating was on one raked level.

Following refurbishment and construction of a circle seating area, it was re-named Gaumont on 26th December 1966. When the Rank Organisation pulled out of Northern Ireland in 1974 the cinema reverted back to the Tivoli Cinema name under independent management. It was short lived and then closed on 7th June 1975. During a subsequent life as a car showroom the building was bombed by the IRA and repaired and also had a variety of other uses. By the late-1990’s the building was, once again, a car showroom, but was apparently looking rather forlorn. It has since been demolished.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Torchlight on October 16, 2018 at 1:44 am

This cinema was planned by Irish Theatres (one of the two largest locally owned chains at the time). In 1955, while the cinema was still under construction,Irish Theatres was acquired by Rank (Odeon), who opened it on 17 June that year.

After undergoing an extensive reconstruction, modernisation, creation of a separate circle and other improvements, the Tivoli reopened as the Gaumont on 26 December 1966 (not 1961). After Rank sold its Northern Irish estate to Belfast Cinemas (a local independent created for the purpose) in 1974, the Gaumont reverted to its original name (Gaumont being a trade mark of Rank), on 24 March 1975. The building has since been demolished and replaced by appartments.

JohnGn on November 26, 2018 at 6:18 am

Was this the last Rank cinema to receive the “Gaumont” name? By that time, Rank on the mainland was phasing out the Gaumont name, but there was a separate Odeon company in Northern Ireland which presumably had their own way of doing things Does anyone know if anything has been written about Rank’s activities in Northern Ireland?

Biffaskin on July 2, 2023 at 3:23 am

Architect was John McBride Neill. In answer to JohnGn’s question, the last Gaumont to be re-branded to Odeon was the former Gaumont Palace in Doncaster, Yorkshire. This didn’t happen until as late as 1987.

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