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Half a century ago John Lennon sang ‘Give Peace a Chance’ at the same time barricades were erected in Belfast and radical student movement People’s Democracy marched for civil rights. From 16 – 27 September the Linen Hall remembers the People’s Democracy with memorabilia, posters and more.

Against this turbulent backdrop an entertainment house opened that has withstood the test of time – Queen’s Film Theatre. From 3 – 27 September the Linen Hall hosts the exhibition QFT 50 that retraces the last 50 years of what has turned into one of Belfast’s most popular entertainment facilities.

The schedule of September events in date order is as follows:

QFT 50
3 – 27 September/ exhibition/ free
Since opening its doors in 1968, Queen’s Film Theatre has occupied a very special place in Belfast’s cultural landscape. QFT 50 presents a fascinating insight into its extraordinary fifty-year history. It shows how QFT has repeatedly risen to social, cultural and political challenges, such as the Troubles, declining cinema audiences, the rise of the multiplexes, and changing cinema technology, to continue to be Northern Ireland’s leading cultural cinema.

Fifty Years of Queen’s Film Theatre
With Dr Sam Manning
Tuesday 3 September at 1.00pm/ lecture/ free
This illustrated talk uses archival material and oral history interviews to explore the cinema’s often turbulent history. The talk examines the films that were popular among QFT patrons over the years, and the challenges of operating a cultural cinema in Northern Ireland.                                               

A Celebration of the Beath Collection and the Bicentennial of the Irish Harp Society of Belfast (1819 – 39)
Thursday 12 September 3.30pm- 7.30pm / performance/ £20
Exclusive to the Linen Hall Library. International harpist Lily Neill performs harp music celebrating the Library’s Beath Collection which contains a wealth of material from the 18th and 19th centuries tied to music, social reform and politics. There will be performances and talks relating to this fascinating collection. 

European Heritage Open Day (EHOD)
Why Conservation Matters with Marcus Patton
Friday 13 September at 1.00pm/ lecture/ free
This talk examines the reasons associated with the scholarly field of architectural conservation.
And on Saturday 14 September the Linen Hall will be open to the public for free tours at 11.00am and 1.00pm.

People’s Democracy 50th Anniversary
16 – 27 September/ exhibition/ free
In August 1969 political and sectarian unrest saw barricades erected in Belfast and British troops on the streets. People’s Democracy, a radical student movement, provided political direction and publicity through Radio Free Belfast and the Poster Workshop. The People’s Democracy posters featured in this exhibition capture the messages of the time.                                                 

A Leap of Faith with Rev David Latimer
Wednesday 18 September at 1.00pm/ lecture/ free
Rev Latimer remembers his friendship with the late Martin McGuinness and their joint commitment to peace building and improving the lives of NI’s young people.

Culture Night
Friday 20 September/ performance at 1.00pm – 2.30pm/ free
Join us as we celebrate 40 years of Lapwing Press, with readings from Sam Burnside, Moyra Donaldson, Fred Johnston and Rosie Johnston. Presented by Damian Smyth and Peter Pegnall. With special guests Dennis and Rene Greig.

The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era with Gareth Russell
Tuesday 24 September at 1.00pm/ lecture/ £5pp
Join Gareth Russell for an original and meticulously researched account of the story of the Titanic told through the stories of six first-class passengers.

Linen Hall Reading Group
Thursday 26 September at 1.10pm/ discussion/ free
All are welcome to come along and join in the discussion of the chosen book of the month. September’s title up for discussion is The Informer by Liam O’Flaherty.

The Linen Hall Library is open free to the public Monday – Friday 9.30am- 5.30pm. For more information please visit our website at www.linenhall.com

To book for any of these events click here.

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