Belfast’s oldest pub gets new licence – as a cinema

As of this Sunday Belfasts oldest tavern  Whites  will become the citys newest cinema
As of this Sunday Belfasts oldest tavern  Whites  will become the citys newest cinema

A bar in Belfast which dates back to 1630 has been approved to become a licensed cinema.

White’s Tavern in Winecellar Entry boasts the accolade of Belfast’s oldest tavern and from Sunday it will also be the city’s newest cinema.

Owner Jim Crawford said the idea came about after they began showing films in the courtyard outside White’s in the summer of 2015, a venture that was met with “tremendous success”.

He said: “Admittedly, some people thought having an outdoor cinema in Belfast was a crazy idea but people really began to latch on to the idea.

“In no time, we were turning people away because every film was filled.

“On one occasion for Rocky Horror, we had people queuing, in full costume, from early afternoon.”

They plan to continue to show outdoor movies at Christmas and Halloween in the courtyard. However, the new indoor cinema licence allows Mr Crawford to show films all year round.

He said: “We had to take a slight hiatus from the outdoor cinema this year during the summer to work with Belfast City Council on becoming a fully licensed cinema and now we’re ready to rock again.

“We think that there is a real appetite for movies in Belfast – particularly the kind of retro movies that we are increasingly famous for – that you love to watch on a Sunday night under a blanket with friends.”

Mr Crawford added: “My business partner and I always loved the idea of dine-in cinemas and it’s been an ambition of ours to own one.”

The addition of Vandal, the bar above White’s, has provided the perfect location for a dine-in cinema.

Every Sunday, beginning this week, they will be showing a different movie.

For £9.95, you can watch a movie whilst dining on pizza, popcorn and enjoying one of Vandal’s famous milkshakes.

Whites/Vandal was recently been shortlisted for Pub of the Year at the Hospitality Ulster Awards.