Author Topic: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls  (Read 41257 times)

Jenny

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Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« on: April 13, 2007, 03:42:56 PM »
Hi All,
I'm looking into old Dance Halls in Northern ireland (mainly from 1950s through to the late 70s).  I'm trying to find venues that are still standing and could, with a bit of dressing be brought briefly back to life.  I'm having luck in the rest of Northern Ireland but not so much in Belfast - everything's been bullbozed for car parks or apartments!
Anyway a huge problem for me is that i have names but not locations.  Does anyone out there remember the Belfast dancehalls well enought that they could actually show me the locations?  I'm thinking of places like The Orpheous, Sammy Houstons Jazz Club, Betty Staff's, the Starlite, the Maritime/Club Rado.

I hope someone can help,
Thanks, Jenny

Christopher

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2007, 03:56:10 PM »
The Orpheus was above the Co=op in York Street

Sammy Houstons Jazz Club,

Betty Staff's was in Ann Street. I'll post the exact number later.

the Starlite or Boom Boom Room was on your left in Arthur Street at the Chapel Lane junction if I'm right.

the Maritime/Club Rado ... I think in the Oxford Street area ... one of the other members should be able to give you the right address.

Romanos is still standing .. it's opposite Craftworld in Queen Street but I'm not certain what's there now. Craftworld used to be in that building

Jenny

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007, 04:05:53 PM »
Wow, that was a quick response.  Thanks a lot.  I've heard all the names lots of times but it's finding them that's the problem.
Did you visit them yourself?

Jenny

Christopher

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2007, 04:44:29 PM »
The dance studios that were in Belfast in 1960 are mentioned on the Ballrooms of Romance thread of the Forum.

Miss Taylor's Windsor School of Dancing was known to many as Jimmy Compton's Jazz Club.

I visited a few and wish I'd spent more time in them as dancing is a great way of getting to know people.

John Dossor owned the Gala Ballroom at 20, Great Victoria Street. I think that later became Sammy Houstons but there are a couple of people on the Forum, related to Sammy, who probably remember the number.

I think the Starlite / Boom Boom Room was at No. 3, Arthur Street. I'll see if the Newspaper Library has any old copies of CityWeek as it was full of information about the bands that played in Belfast Ballrooms in the sixties.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 04:57:48 PM by Christopher »

SAM

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2007, 05:01:52 PM »
SAMMY HOUSTONS WAS FACING THE EUROPA HOTEL, (USED TO BE A TRAIN STATION) I WENT 2 OR 3 NIGHTS A WEEK + SATURDAY AFTERNOON, IWENT TO THE MARITIME ALSO IT WAS NOT FAR FROM THE JAZZ CLUB IT WAS IN COLLEGE SQ  NORTH ROUND THE SIDE OF THE BLACK MAN (STATUE) AS FAR AS I KNOW THE MARITIME IS STILL STANDING.

Jenny

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2007, 05:20:03 PM »
Hi,
This is all great, thanks a lot.  I really hope some of the buildings are still standing and in decent repair.  It's also interesting to know that some of Sammy Houston's family use the forum - his Club gets mentioned a lot.  I hope the Maritime is still there too.  Lots of potential isn't there....I'm going to have to go exploring.

Jenny

Christopher

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2007, 05:39:12 PM »
As far as I'm aware there's not a book on the old Belfast ballrooms. That would be a good project for someone. A letter to the Editor of the Tele explaining what you intended doing would probably get a good response. Many people met their lifetime partners in the ballrooms of Belfast.

arkie

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2007, 07:18:15 PM »
THE CLUB ORCHID, AND ROTUNDA. BUILDING STILL IN KING ST/CASTLE ST.

ulsterstan

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2007, 03:29:02 AM »
Just got word a few days ago from kin in Belfast that Sammy,s wife  Hazel passed away in NZ.   Sammy Houston is my  2nd. cousin and isn't in too good of health at  this time also , i think  Sammy,s in his late 70,s  or maybe early 80,s . He  was a Lft. in the 82nd BB.  and got me to join  then he and Hazel were Ballroom champs.   Great man ,Sammy.
Stan Sloan.

sammy toaster

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2007, 08:00:36 PM »
the elizabethan in royal avenue, up the stairs and dark lighting but it was still a dance hall just. the fiesta round near the markets, before my time. another dodgey one near the albert clock in victoria st. nicknamed the divorcees.

MaggieG

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2007, 08:53:32 PM »
The Maritime/Club Rado was in College Street, but has been razed to the ground now.  I used to go to it on a Friday night, and the Betty Staff's on a Saturday night.  As far as I know, the Floral Hall at Belfast Zoo, Antrim Road, Glengormley is still standing, but was left quite derelict in the 70s when the Army was billeted there.  I went there too, hopped about quite a bit from dance hall to dance hall in the 60's!

mo chara

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2007, 11:49:05 PM »
Didn't somebody mention the Maratime? They must have watched Van the Man who played there with several groups but mostly 'Them', at the Rhythm and Blues Club. Here's a picture of the Old Lady of College Square North.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2007, 11:53:37 PM by mo chara »
Keep your hands up or you'll end up with a face like mine

Christopher

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2007, 09:55:54 AM »
Jenny,

If you live in the Belfast area get on to the Nolan Show. There's a chance Stephen will shout at Jeffers
and instruct him to get on to finding at least one of the old Ballrooms in the city centre 8)

Christopher

Jenny

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 10:03:29 AM »
Cheers for all your responses to this topic.  We're working awy on it so you never know what will happen!

Jenny

arkie

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Re: Help re old Belfast Dance Halls
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2007, 12:14:44 AM »
CHRISTOPHER, THERE AINT NONE. THE ONLY ONE TIME BR. HALLS LEFT  ARE THE ROTUNDA AND CLUB ORCHID. THEY,RE AT THE CORNER OF DIVIS ST/KING ST. THEY,RE DUE FOR DEMOLITION. I,M TRYING TO GET PERMISSION TO TAKE A FEW PHOTOS OF THE INTERIOR OF SAME BEFORE THEY GO. :( :(