The Imperial Hotel in High Street was sold on 21st September 1961, ending a century long connection with the town. The closure of the Imperial meant that Portadown was without a hotel for some 6 years until the opening of the Seagoe Hotel on the outskirts of the town.
The Imperial Hotel was owned by the Hall family. It had been the focus of much activity in the town, being used by a variety of organisations for meetings, dances and other festive events. The Imperial’s Miro Bar was a popular meeting place for business folk and politicans.
A lot of people were affected by the closure of The Imperial. Portadown was a popular stopping off point for commercial travel in those pre motorway days for people on their way to Fermanagh or the Irish midlands.
The lambeg drum fraternity would also miss The Imperial, as the large yard at its rear was often the venue for drumming matches, especially round Easter. The Imperial was first purchased by Wellworths. The toy shop ‘Toymaster’ is there today.