Like all good box office blockbusters, the partnership between Strand Arts Centre and Specsavers Connswater has been so successful it’s back again for a sequel.

Strand Arts Centre’s Silver Screenings for older audiences has been growing in popularity with local residents and tenants of nursing homes – with a total audience of almost 1,300 during its most recent season.

The weekly movie classics at this East Belfast landmark cinema and arts centre will continue for another year thanks to renewed support from Specsavers Opticians and Audiologists in Connswater.

The current line-up of Silver Screenings promises some real treats including the glorious musical Oklahoma!, Peter Sellers as bumbling Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther, and Cliff Richard driving a double decker bus around Europe in Summer Holiday.

Specsavers Connswater director, Lynsey Caldwell, said:

“We’re delighted that by supporting the Silver Screenings project at the Strand Arts Centre, our local cinema, it has enhanced the social wellbeing of the older population in the area.

“We are committed to improving the lives of the community in which we operate and are keen to engage with audiences about the hearing and audiology services that may benefit them.”

Strand Arts Centre Chief Executive, Mimi Turtle, said:

“We are thrilled that the projectors will keep rolling thanks to our successful partnership with Specsavers. These Silver Screenings of classic films from primarily the 1940s to 1960s provide the perfect opportunity to engage with this older demographic and we were very pleased to have been shortlisted in the recent Belfast Business Awards as Best Age-Friendly Business.

 “These screenings are not just a chance to watch a classic film, but also for older audiences to come together, enjoy a social experience and take a trip down memory lane. As well as older couples coming to the Thursday afternoon matinees, we have had social outings from churches and retirement groups across Northern Ireland. And it’s lovely that Specsavers has been able to engage with our customers by providing free hearing tests before the film.”

Thanks to funding from the Arts & Business Investment Programme, the Strand has been able to provide free transport to and from the venue for residents of local nursing homes.

Paula Tabakin from Fairholme Supported Housing said:

“We at Fairholme really enjoy the Silver Screenings project at the Strand. Many of our tenants would have frequented the cinema in their youth and this is a lovely opportunity to relive this experience. Offering transport and tea and coffee is so welcoming and we look forward to seeing this continue especially as for many it’s a rare opportunity to go out. Even the drive up has become an experience as it has brought up memories of East Belfast for some of our tenants.”

Arts & Business NI Chief Executive, Mary Nagele, said:

“Through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland funded Investment Programme, Arts & Business NI invests in mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts. We aim to increase private sector investment into the arts by supporting arts organisations in developing sustainable relationships with business. 

“Our involvement in this partnership between Strand Arts Centre and Specsavers Connswater adds value and enables so many more older people to attend and enjoy these weekly screenings.”

For more information on Silver Screenings, visit