Philip Orr will lead this event which will document the rise in cinema in 1916 and also look at family life during the War, and the impact of war on everyday life including the mundane aspects of daily life during conflict.

It will explore the ‘freedom’ that young people and women had, now having to carry out jobs, which brought with it an income. 4,000 women were employed making shells in Mackies, during the War. It will also recall the street games played by children, and other aspects of life at that time. 

It will also touch on the local labour movement, the conscientious objectors to the First World War and the anti-conscription movement. 

During the First World War, cinema and visits to the movies grew significantly. In August 1916 millions of people flocked to the cinema to see the latest releases. But whereas previous popular films had been fictional romances, dramas or comedies, the film that caught the public imagination was The Battle of the Somme, a film comprising footage from the front line which brought home the realities of trench warfare in unprecedented fashion. Apparently, 20 million people saw this film and it held the British audience record for 60 years, until Star Wars was released. 

After the talk, we will show this film (subject to confirmation) and supply the treats. 

Light refreshments will be served at 6.30pm.

This event is organised by Belfast City Council.

Event Details


Banqueting Hall, Belfast City Hall
Donegall Square South


Tuesday, October 25, 2016 -
18:30 to 21:00

Centenary Event

Tickets and further information

This event is free, however registration is required.

To book a place email or call 028 90270 663