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In Ballynahinch, County Down, in 1925, John Corry, of Downpatrick, built the Picture House on the site of the old horse fair. The first talking film was “Treasure Island” starring Wallace Beery. This was not released until 1934, but the delay in converting to sound was probably because John Corry had died some time before then, and the cinema only changed hands in 1933, when it was acquired by Ben Bloomfield, also of Downpatrick. He ran the Picture House until the early-1950’s when he sold it to an Englishman named Hargreaves.
As the popularity of ‘the pictures’ gradually declined, with the coming of television, he began renting out the building to the Free Presbyterian Church. Eventually, in 1976, the church bought the Picture House. The interior was stripped and refurbished and the projection room transformed into a Sunday school classroom for the smaller children. The building remains in church use to day.
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