Share Your Story

Strand Arts Centre is encouraging its audiences, past and present, to share their memories and future aspirations for the building.

“I know there are many people who have fond memories of the Strand,” said Chief Executive Mimi Turtle  “Many went through the life cycle of attending the Minors Club as children, progressing to courting in the back row and subsequently bringing their own children, and sometimes grandchildren too! And let’s not forget the dozens of projectionists, usherettes and concierges over the years.”

“When I was growing up in East Belfast in the middle 50s to 60s I was a frequent visitor to the Strand Picture House. I have many many memories of the place, no more so than going to ‘the Minors’ on a Saturday morning to see Batman & Robin, cartoons, etc. The prices were thrupence (3d bit) downstairs and sixpence (a tanner) to the balcony but if you where lucky you could sneak upstairs without paying the extra.” Ken Mills

“I started going to the Strand when I was about 10 and I’m still going now aged 78! The Strand was always a love place to go – especially for a cuddle in the back row. Then when I had children, I would bring them along. I’m delighted the cinema is still there and being used by the local community. If they had torn it down, it would have broken my heart. It’s such a landmark.” Norma McCullough

“I remember going with a friend and his parents to see Star Wars and that really had me hooked.  Going to the movies seemed to be a special treat because it was always at holiday times that I went.  ET, Return of the Jedi, Moonraker were some of the films that I remember viewing when I was off school.” Alan McClurg, Strand projectionist

“One of my fondest memories of the Strand Cinema was going to see the film of the Queen’s Coronation. Wow! What a treat for a little girl from East Belfast. I thought I was there in person.” Belle Bell

“I was brought up in Grampian Street at the Arches. In the 1960’s ABC Minors at the Strand was my boyhood pleasure palace. We lined up every Saturday morning outside in front of the commissioner in his long burgundy coat and official cap. He kept us waiting outside until 10.30 on the dot and would only let us in if we were wearing our ABC Minors badges.” Ken Belshaw

We all have memories of the Strand from its days as a cinema, but what have you enjoyed more recently in the arts centre? Did you see any great theatre or music events? If you have kids, did they take part in any of our hands-on creative workshops? Let us know what the Strand means to you, why it’s worth saving and what you would like to see in a refurbished venue.  Share your Strand story here…