Grand Central Hotel Belfast

Details

Location

Belfast, Belfast City Centre, Grand Central Hotel

Year

1972

Source

Format

16mm

colour

Length

29min 16sec

Silent

sound

Courtesy

British Film Institute, Paul Robinson

Rights Holder

Paul Robinson

Description

A poignant documentary tracing the fate of one of Belfast's most iconic establishments and the uncertain future facing its employees.

Through the personal stories of the people who worked there, this film provides an illuminating and harrowing insight into the hotel’s history and it's final days. Due to the impact of the "ring of steel" around Belfast and the bleak prospect of on going conflict, trading ceased on 1st October 1971. Shortly after the Grand Central Hotel was taken over by the British Army and transformed into a military base, the Bridal suite was used as centre of operations for almost a decade.

 

Notes

Since opening in 1893, over the years, the Grand Central would provide a home-from-home to numerous celebrities. Stays by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, both bands making the hotel their base when they played Belfast, marked the 1960s. Other notable guests included King Leopold III, Paul Robeson and many of the actors who appeared at the Grand Opera House. Following a stint as a military barracks – 1972 through to the early-1980s – the building was acquired by developers and partly demolished to make way for the Castle Court shopping centre. This film comes from the BFI collection.

Credits

Produced by Andrew Higgins and Tom Naylor for Higgins-Barry

Directed by Peter Robinson

Script by John Barry

DOP: John Barry

Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage

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