FINAGHY man Jonathan McMurray, who has opened a furniture
shop in the village's smart new Tivoli Place development, is the
third generation of his family to
trade on the site.
The apartment and retail complex is named after The Tivoli',
one of the South Belfast area's most popular cinemas of the late
1950's and 1960's.
The building which could accommodate more than 1000
moviegoers opened in 1955. Its doors closed for the last time
just two decades later in 1975 and it is regarded by many as an
unrecorded victim of Northern Ireland's 'troubles'.
Saddened Members of Jonathan's family had watched many films
in the cinema and were saddened to see the building lie empty
and neglected for a number of years.
However, at the start of the 1980's his grandfather Austin
had a brainwave, as Jonathan, who grew up in Orpen Park
"My grandfather bought the old cinema which was lying
derelict because he thought it would make a very good car
showroom," he said.
"He replaced its silver screen, gilt and velvet with
windscreens, chrome and leather and the showroom operated on the
site for many years."
The premises which eventually were passed to Jonathan's
father closed before construction of the apartments and shops
Meanwhile, Jonathan, who was educated at Friends School in
Lisburn, became a Psychology student.
During his career he has worked for the Citizens Advice
Bureau, been a Childline Counsellor and has even been involved
in some paranormal investigations
This is quite appropriate as the site of the old cinema is
However, he now intends to 'combine art and comfort' in his
new shop by stocking what he refers to as 'unique and individual
The shop also offers gifts and home wares which Jonthan
believes 'reflect the golden age of the cinema' with a unique,