Irony in the Majestic being saved by church
The item in the Belfast Telegraph (Sept 1) on how the shell of the former Majestic cinema has been saved from demolition by a decision of the Windsor Baptist Church made welcome reading.
It is another stage in the complex relations between the local churches and the film industry documented by Tom Hughes in "How Belfast Saw the Light, a Cinematic History".
Hughes shows how, after initial acceptance, attitudes changed. The churches became prominent critics of film content and influence. Churchmen were vocal in attempts to prevent the showing of certain films in the city; they also opposed the building of some cinemas - including the Majestic.
The Sandro, the Park and the Stadium were denounced as "darkened temples of sin".
There is a fortuitous irony in the present situation, where a church is taking a positive step in preventing further loss of our already depleted cinematic and architectural heritage.