A campaign to restore one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings has taken a sparkling twist as campaigners search for one of the derelict venue’s lost treasures.
Volunteers working to secure funds that would bring the Floral Hall at Bellevue back to its former glory are on the search for the venue’s famous glitter ball.
Once the city’s most popular nightlife destination, the Floral Hall hosted Ireland’s top showbands while global superstars such as Pink Floyd, Gene Pitney and Roy Orbison have all played there.
But when the music stopped the striking art deco building fell into disrepair and at ones stage was used as a hay store by nearby Belfast Zoo. The glitter ball was taken down from Floral Hall 22 years ago and transferred to the Arts Theatre in Botanic. But when that venue closed too, the ball was put into storage and has since disappeared.
James Coleman, a member of the campaign to have the building restored, explained: “Asbestos was found in the building and a lot of the keepsake things were taken out. We know that it was taken by someone with a view to restoring it and rehousing it but that’s where the trail runs cold and in essence it has disappeared.
“We’d love to find it again. So many people have contacted us to say that the ball was such a main feature of the room for them and that they have fond memories of dancing under it or seeing it sparkle on their future spouses for the first time. It’d be hard not to get attached to such memories.”
The Restore Floral Hall campaign has been reinvigorated thanks an energetic social media presence, but Belfast City Council maintain that they have no investment plans for the site which would cost an estimated £5.5million to refurbish.
“We’re not giving up easily and if people could see even a part of Floral Hall restored to its former glory then maybe more people will get behind the belief that Floral Hall could once again be a North Belfast hotspot,” added James.
Anyone with information on the glitter ball can ring our newsdesk on 90584444.