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  • Belfast Between The Wars


Belfast Telegraph, Tuesday 26th May 1936


Each successive suburban cinema which opens in Belfast sets a new standard in this tranche of the building industry, and incorporates all the improvements which the public demand of their modern place of entertainment.

The Majestic, at the corner of Derryvolgie Avenue, on the Lisburn Road, which was opened last evening by the Lord Mayor, is no exception, and more than fulfils all the expectations of the modern cinema-goer.

The Majestic is the second suburban cinema built in Belfast by the Union Cinema Company, who have at present under construction the “Ritz,” the new super-house at Fisherwick Place.

The front of the house well lives up to its name – in cream-coloured glazed faience. It is high and flat-roofed, and the centre of the frontage is recessed, leaving two “towers” at either side, containing the balcony stairs. The main entrance, with double-decker canopy above it, has two sets of swing doors opening into a roomy foyer. Above the entrance foyer is the balcony foyer with a large window, 24 feet long, commanding a fine view of the city.

Everywhere is evidenced the modern trend in cinema luxury – concealed lighting, roomy seating, adequate heating and the hundred and one other smaller improvements which we now expect.


There is seating accommodation for 1,400 – 1,000 in the stalls and 400 in the balcony. The seats are upholstered in scarlet and are of the silent tip-up type, wide and deep with special armrests. There is perfect vision from every seat in the house.

The walls and ceiling of the auditorium are finished with sprayed plastic paint, speckled in rose-pink and gold. This has also been used on the walls of the entrance and balcony foyers and staircases.

As an aid of acoustics the ceiling is quite flat though this is not at first sight apparent.

The heating is by a system of air conditioning, supplemented by radiators inset in the walls.

In every detail the cinema is a great tribute to the architect, Mr. J. McB. Neill, who was responsible for the company’s other suburban house – the Strand.

Mr. J. S. Elliot, who at one time acted as assistant manager at the Classic is the manager at the Majestic.

The floral decorations were carried out by Mr. Wm. Magee, Knock Nursery, Upper Newtownards Road.

The Lord Mayor, who was welcomed by Councillor W. A. Cochrane and presented with a gold souvenir key by Mr. Neill, the architect, congratulated Mr. Neill and the builders on their fine cinema. They had, in the Majestic, a cinema that would do justice to anywhere.

Before the opening, musical selections were rendered by the band of the 1st Batt. the Welch Regiment, conducted by Bandmaster F. J. Davidson (by kind permission of Col. D. P. Dickenson, D.S.O., O.B.E.).

The proceeds of the entertainment were handed over to charity.

The films shown were “Curly Top,” with Shirley Temple, “Welcome Home” with James Dunn and a Mickey Mouse cartoon.

The heating and ventilating system was installed by Messrs. Johnson & Co., Ravenhill Road, Belfast.

Messrs. Johnson have great experience in work of this kind, and their installation at the Majestic represented all that they had learned in this type of work.


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