The Kings Hall at the Balmoral Showgrounds was constructed in 1933-34 as a permanent exhibition hall for the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and was officially opened on 29th May 1934 by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, being renamed the ‘King’s Hall’ by the permission of King George V.
The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society immediately put the Kings Hall to use for a variety of purposes. In 1936 alone the hall was utilised for a number of exhibitions, evangelical meetings, boxing and wrestling contests and a circus that was held at Christmas. Staples of the annual schedule at the Kings Hall included the Ideal Home Show, motor shows and wedding exhibitions. In later decades the hall would also be used for music concerts; the Beatles famously performed at the Kings Hall on 2nd November 1964. The Kings Hall was put to a very different use during the Second World War when the exhibition hall was requisitioned for the duration of the conflict. The premises at Balmoral were occupied until a few months after the end of hostilities in 1945. The Air Ministry (Ministry of Supply) acquired the site in 1940 and converted the Kings Hall into an aircraft factory for Short Bros. & Harland in order to construct fuselages for Stirling Bombers.
The Kings Hall remains an iconic venue which has hosted high calibre stars in the entertainment and boxing worlds, with the most successful concerts including Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, Boyzone, and U2 supported by Lou Reed.
Northern Ireland and national boxing hero Barry McGuigan also made history at the venue when he won the title of World Champion at The Kings Hall in 1985.