Birkdale Picture Palace
18 Mosley Street,
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In the Birkdale district of Southport, on Mosley Road, near the junction with Upper Aughton Road, the small, purpose-built Birkdale Picture Palace opened on Saturday 10th May 1913. The first programme included short films “James Patterson, Detective”, “Woodland”, “A Bit of Blue Ribbon”, “On the Steps of the Throne” and “Making A Hero of Her”.
The roof was supported by steel stanchions, with the brick walls merely a ‘filling’. The auditorium was parallel to the road, but angled back slightly to allow space for the entrance and a small foyer.
Musical accompaniment was provided by a pianist. Apparently, when Westerns were shown, the children made so much noise that the piano could not be heard – so the pianist just sat back and watched the film!
The Birkdale Picture Palace survived into the sound era, as this caused it to close, when local residents complained about the noise coming from the building, that was not sound-proofed! Their petition was successful, and the cinema closed in 1929.
The building spent some time as a confectionery warehouse for White Hudson Ltd., then as a cycle store run by Jack Massey and his son Peter. In the 1980’s its use changed to light industrial.
When I visited, in September 2002, the building was closed up, but well maintained. However, Google Street View in June 2015 indicates it has deteriorated badly since then. In 2016 it was being renovated to be used as a photographic studio.
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