As the Troubles continue the New Abercorn Nightclub is one of the last city centre locations offering night time entertainment in Belfast.
Inside the Belfast security gates after dark nightlife is practically non-existent resembling a city in lockdown. Ordinarily Margo and her chart-topping band 'Nightlife' would fill any club. This is not the case in downtown Belfast where the band are residents at the 'New Abercorn' Cabaret Club. They play nightly to almost empty houses as punters were being turned away by the security barriers around sections of the city.
The high rollers and disco dancers have deserted downtown Belfast. The city has a dead centre.
In other cities people head for the pubs and restaurants after work. In Belfast the exodus from the city centre began as offices and shops close their doors at around 5.30 pm each day. The fall off in business meant that the big breweries which operated the city pubs are now considering closing down at night. A committee was formed to help prevent Belfast city centre from becoming a ghost town.
Keyboard player with 'Nightlife' Billy Hamilton spoke to 'Ireland's Eye' about the barriers to entry for those looking for a night on the town.
But to get those people to actually come in this is our problem because they see the barriers up they see the gates. It's very sort of dull there is no lighting at all.
An 'Ireland's Eye' report by Brian Black broadcast on 3 November 1981.
'Ireland's Eye' was a series with human-interest stories and features from locations throughout Ireland. First broadcast on 7 October 1980, the programme ran until August 1983.