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Culture Night Belfast 2015: 50,000 culture vultures swoop for city extravaganza

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 18/09/2015

Belfast city centre will turn into a open-air stage this evening as Culture Night gets under way.

Some of the city's busiest streets will be closed to traffic to make way for 50,000 visitors.

There are more than 250 free events, ranging from fine art to performance art, and from orchestras to marching bands.

As well as comedy, street theatre and a roller derby, revellers will be able to see rare footage of how the city looked decades ago in a special film event.

Short archive films showing Belfast's urban history from as far back as 1896 will be shown at three places where the clips were shot or are connected to. The sites are at Academy Street, Royal Avenue and Rosemary Street. The films are from Northern Ireland Screen's digital film archive and will be shown in an initiative from QFT and Film Hub NI.

The city's industrial past will be featured in the Industrial Belfast on Film show in Academy Street. It will include footage from the launch of MV Cedric at Belfast Harbour, workers at the Falls Foundry, Shorts, the Docks and Kennedy's Bakery, the DeLorean sports car at City Hall, and a futuristic robot at Ulster Polytechnic in 1983.

The Hudson Bar in Gresham Street will be the place to see the old face of the city, including a tram ride along Royal Avenue in 1901 and rarely-seen footage of Transport House, Smithfield Market and Tates Avenue.

Susan Picken from QFT described the film shows as a chance for people to immerse themselves in "Belfast past and present".

She said: "It's a chance for different generations to share their memories and experiences of life in this vibrant, industrious and playful city."

Elsewhere, revellers can enjoy flamenco, swing, the Charleston and break dancing, Evensong at St Anne's Cathedral, a slow bike race and a green woodwork demonstration.

And author Glenn Patterson will be administering the vows at Amnesty's Big Fat Gay Wedding on the steps of the Merchant Hotel.

Belfast Telegraph

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