Metro Cinema

East Link,
Dundonald, BT16

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Metro Cinema

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Located opposite Ulster Hospital on the corner of East Link, Dundonald, to the east of Belfast. The Metro Cinema opened on 3rd September 1956 with “Rear Window” starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. Built at a cost of £50,000, it was the first post-war cinema with a balcony. CinemaScope had also been installed. It was owned by Supreme Cinemas, which also controlled another 13 Ulster cinemas. With hindsight it turned out to be an ill-timed venture. Located in a then sparsely populated area, it had to compete with television and more convenient city cinemas. So it was soon in difficulties, and a brief change of name, to Rex Cinema, failed to change its fortunes.

It closed in 1961, giving it the dubious distinction of being the shortest-lived lifespan of any modern Northern Ireland cinema. By coincidence, the Curran Group also wound up that year. Rather ironically, one of the building’s last uses was as a repair depot for Check Rentals, a television hire company. The building was later demolished and a MacDonald’s restaurant occupies the site.

Contributed by David Simpson
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