‘The end of an era’ - St Mary’s Hall, an entertainment mecca for generations of young and old in Portadown, is to be demolished.
It was once a grand and welcoming building in Obins Street but soon it is to be razed to the ground to make way for new development.
Opened in 1958 by Cardinal Dalton, it hosted many memorable nights for the people of the parish and beyond.
Everyone from Thin Lizzy to Jim Reeves played there over the years and many a romance began there.
It hosted Irish dancing festivals, a youth club, discos and bingo and was the hub of the local community.
In recent years since the building became derelict, it attracted a less salubrious crowd of junkies and drinkers
Plans are afoot to demolish the hall and the old Parochial House next door. This will be welcome news for residents who have been tortured by the anti-social behaviour .
But many will reminisce about the wonderful times they enjoyed at this old hall.
Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Paul Duffy described it as ‘the end of an era’.
He said; “St Mary’s Hall Portadown is due to be demolished within the next five weeks. It was once famed for the show bands, groups and singers such as Adam Faith, Jim Reaves, Thin Lizzy to name a few.
“Plenty of people from all across the town and further afield have fond memories of the hall in its hay day.
“The hall has been used in the past as a chapel, Teenage Disco (Huggies), Bingo, cinema with people queued down Obins Street waiting to see Grease and other famous movies.
“The old parish house which was home to most of the priests is also due to be demolished. The hall was opened by Cardinal Dalton in December 1958, it was a centre of the community for generations.
“Both buildings have been bought over by a local builder and the area will become housing. The buildings will be demolished and crushed with most of the work carried out on site and the hard fill being used in the new builds.”