North's oldest cinema to be restored to pre-war glory as it shares in heritage fund boost
THE north's oldest cinema is moving closer to its 1930s' heyday as it shares in a £12 million boost from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its restoration project.
The Strand opened in 1935, and remains a working cinema as well as a venue for events including exhibitions and workshops.
The iconic Art Deco building, located on east Belfast's Holywood Road, was allocated £4m at the beginning of this year as part of the UK's Levelling Up Fund.
It has now been granted a further £768,069 under the Heritage Fund to transform it into a "valued heritage asset" in a restoration project involving Belfast City Council.
"Visitors to The Strand Arts Centre will step back in time for a 'living museum' experience of a pre-war cinema, complete with the restoration of key 1935 architectural features, period-style decor, and engaging interpretive designs that unlock Northern Ireland's cinema heritage," a Heritage Fund spokesperson said.
Other historical buildings across the UK to share in the £12m fund include the Victorian Market in Cardiff, and the Ice House in Great Yarmouth.