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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 20:13 GMT 21:13 UK
Silent cinema is talk of Cultra
Outside the cinema
The cinema was once packed by mill workers
A whole cinema from a County Down village has been rebuilt at the Ulster Folk Museum in Cultra.

The cinema was only in operation in the upstairs of a barn in Gilford for about ten years in the 1920s.

At that time there were thousands working in the local mill and people also came from nearby Scarva and Tandragee to view the latest Charlie Chaplin silent film, accompanied by piano.

"Most of the actual cinema building, that is in its entirety and they've made a really marvellous job of rebuilding it," said John Lunney, who donated it.

"When someone from the museum got to hear about the cinema, they approached us and came down and took a lot of photographs and measurements.

"Then someone asked if we would ever be interested in donating it, which we eventually did."

But the cinema, which will again be showing Charlie Chaplin films, is not the only new/old exhibit at Cultra.

There is also Ballycultra Tearooms complete with starched tablecloths, fancy drapes and china.

Charlie Chaplin in The Kid
Charlie Chaplin films will once again be shown

And there is a recreated hardware shop, a doctor's surgery, a pharmacy and a drapery store.

The latter had its contents transported from Sloans' shop in Kilkeel, which closed in the 1970s.

The development cost 1.2m and was partly paid for by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

"It's absolutely beautiful. It's an idyllic rural Ulster village and I think it's been done tremendously well," said Culture Minister Edwin Poots.

"I'm old enough to remember going getting shafts for shovels and sledgehammers and so forth. So I went to the hardware shop I could remember that."




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