Sharing the magic of movies during life in lockdown

Strand Arts Centre’s weekly Silver Screenings are a chance for cinemagoers to take a trip down movie memory lane by enjoying a classic film.

The East Belfast venue teamed up with opticians and audiologists Specsavers Connswater three years ago to deliver this inspiring project for older people in the local community. Residents of care homes and supported housing are frequent visitors to the Silver Screenings. But with the arts centre currently closed to the public, and care homes in lockdown, the Strand has been on the road delivering DVDs and always popular popcorn to those who may feel isolated and in need of some movie magic.

Strand Arts Centre CEO Mimi Turtle said:

‘Although our doors are closed at present, we want to keep engaging with our older audiences during this difficult time when many are having to self-isolate. Our team have been delivering Silver Screenings rescue packs with a choice of classic films such as Singin’ in the RainCalamity Jane and The Sound of Music. We’ve also included fun facts and trivia about the years in which the films were released, and some movie quizzes. There’s a bonus DVD with Stephen Beggs reciting poetry, and musicians Rab Wishart and Hannah McPhillimy performing songs people can sing along to. And no rescue pack would be complete without some chocolates and other sweet treats!’

Strand Arts Centre

Lynsey Caldwell, Director of Specsavers Connswater said: 

‘Silver Screenings is one of our favourite projects that we support within the community. 22 local groups who visit the Strand regularly have made a combined total of 323 visits in the last three years. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to meet up for a tea or coffee and a chance to reminisce about previous trips to the cinema in their youth, followed by a screening of a classic film. Carers from some of the nursing home have reported that it is the highlight of the week for many of their residents.’

The Silver Screenings project has also received an investment from Arts & Business NI. This money will be used to deliver a celebratory matinee screening in four care homes for all of the residents once it is safe for them to mix socially again.

And it is hoped that the projectors will roll on the weekly screenings at the Strand Arts Centre later in the year.

For more information, visit

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