Spectrum: Belfast Architecture and Queen's Film Theatre

Spectrum: Belfast Architecture and Queen's Film Theatre

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Belfast, Botanic Garden's, Grand Opera House, Queen's Film Theatre, Ulster Museum




Transmission 10/08/1984


20min 31sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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This episode of the arts programme surveys trends in Belfast architecture and previews what's on offer at Queen's Film Theatre (QFT), in the lead up to the 1984 Belfast Film Festival. 

Feature on Belfast architecture, noting the current conflict between modern and classical architecture (includes views of brutalist office buildings that are indicative of the contemporary trend towards concrete city living). Joe Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Festival Committee NI, and Robert McKinstry, best known for his restoration of the Grand Opera House - and a past President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects - share their opinions on various Belfast landmarks. 

Beginning with the Ulster Museum, which both agree blends new and old styles together well. However, McKinstry notes that the new building is entirely artificially lit which, he believes, makes it less inviting. The renovation of the Grand Opera House is praised for its “creative conservation," which shows the building in its original glory but still works as twentieth century theatre. Next, the viewer is brought to the City Hall, and its surrounding buildings, before a stop at the award-winning galleries at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. This feature also includes exterior views of the headquarters of the RSUA, with interior views of an exhibition of architectural paintings and drawings by Colin Maxwell.

The second half of the programme focuses on QFT, where Administrator, Michael Open, discusses the programme for the Belfast Film Festival. Highlights includes the screen adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano and Irish movie, Cal. Stating that the QFT is for everybody - not just students and film buffs - Open proclaims he is simply "... operating a cinema which tries to show the best films."


A UTV Production.

Features: Joe Fitzgerald, Robert McKinstry and Michael Open.




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