Grand Cinema

17 Market Street,
Downpatrick, BT30 6LP

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Functions: Retail

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Grand Cinema

In Downpatrick, County Down, the Grand Cinema opened on 5th December 1935 with “Roberta” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Thomas Breen was the proprietor and manager. The cinema had 560 seats.

It was forced to close in 1979/1880 due to a spate of bomb scares that kept patrons away, although it reopened on 26th December 1980 “grander than ever”, according to the ‘Mourne Observer’, as the proscenium and foyer had been completely reconstructed. Other major improvements included the installation of 250 Pullman-style seats. The re-opening film was Disney’s “The Aristocrats”, shown on the new wide screen (a rather odd choice, as this had been released ten years earlier. Unfortunately, the ‘new’ Grand Cinema only lasted until the late-1980’s. In September 2008, when I took my photographs, the building had been heavily altered for retail use.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

weirwolf on April 10, 2016 at 5:23 am

I found an estate-agent’s photo of this cinema today (April 10th 2016). You can see it here:

Feel free to use it. Although it is a poor photo, it’s better than what you’ve got, though of course it would be good to have both photos.

The local paper could not provide me with a photo…

Yours truly,

Anthony Weir

popcorn_pete on January 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm

New image added today.

orlski on May 25, 2017 at 8:18 am

I think The Grand is where my love of the cinema started. I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Snow White and Honey I Shrunk The Kids there when I was a child. It does seem impossible to find pictures though so I don’t know if the picture I have in my minds eye is accurate anymore. I do remember thinking it was beautiful. It had plush red velvet seats and a balcony that we’d always sit on if we could. It was awful when it closed because my parents weren’t comfortable taking us into Belfast with everything going on, so I didn’t go to the cinema again until maybe 1995.

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