Irish actor Liam Neeson hosted a black tie dinner party in New York on January 10 to raise money to rebuild a Belfast theater.

Ten months after the tragic death of his beloved wife, actress Natasha Richardson, Neeson had celebs such as Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, Conleth Hill, Brian Kennedy and Ciaran Hinds over for dinner.

The money raised, nearly $400,000 in all, will go towards rebuilding the iconic Lyric Theatre in Belfast. The theatre was originally built in 1951.

The total renovation will cost an estimated $27.2 million, but $1.3 million needs to be raised by June in order for the theatre company to get backing for the rest of the funds. “[The dinner] was held in a very cool penthouse near Broadway in New York,”  Neeson said about the evening, during which Kennedy and Hill performed.

"As we were sitting down, you could see Manhattan glittering in the background. It was an out of the world experience… it was just a stunning event.”

The Ballymena man is a patron of the Lyric and he and his wife Natasha were regular visitors to Antrim

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