Grand Central Hotel Belfast



Belfast, Belfast City Centre, Grand Central Hotel




British Film Institute





29min 16sec




British Film Institute, Paul Robinson

Rights Holder

Paul Robinson

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


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.



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.


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



Please scroll to review and accept our terms and conditions (last updated on ) before viewing the moving images content.

To remember your terms and conditions acceptance, you can register as a site member or allow cookies on your browser.