Futurist Cinema

71 Lime Street,
Liverpool, L1 1JQ

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Futurist Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on 16th September 1912, the Lime Street Picture House was a very upmarket city centre cinema with a tiled Edwardian facade and 1,029 seats in the stalls and circle auditorium which was richly decorated with plasterwork in the French Renaissance style. Dummy boxes with a riotous pediment were either side of the screen opening and looked down into the orchestra pit. The lower walls were panelled in a dark oak wood. An unusual feature for such an early cinema was the provision of a lift for the circle patrons. There was a cafe-lounge located on the first floor. It was re-named City Picture House from 14th August 1916.

In 1920 the City Picture House was renamed the Futurist Cinema, a name the closed and derelict building still bears.

The Futurist Cinema was very popular and managed to retain its hold even after competition from the huge Paramount (Odeon) and Forum (ABC) opened which sometimes forced the Futurist into taking off-circuit films.

In May 1954 Twentieth Century Fox took over the cinema as their Cinemascope venue in the city and it was equipped with a large screen, re-opening on 20th May 1954 with Tyrone Power in “King of the Khyber Rifles”. In 1955, Twentieth Century Fox took over the adjacant Scala Cinema, and also equipped that with Cinemascope.

Later, in 1960, the Futurist Cinema was acquired by ABC and was equipped with 70mm/Todd-AO re-opening on 10th July 1960 with Gordon Macrea in “Oklahoma” which ran for 20 weeks. It became ABC’s roadhouse cinema for extended runs of features such as “Earthquake”.

Eventually, as ABC tripled their main cinema (the ex-Forum directly across the street), the Futurist Cinema was closed on 17th July 1982 with Mel Brook’s “History of the World-Part 1” and “Blazing Saddles”. It has not been used since and the condition inside must now be very poor.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 39 comments)

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on June 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Took this photo last week, looks in pretty bad shape now http://www.flickr.com/photos/58677517@N03/5867346800/in/photostream/

Picturedrome
Picturedrome on June 25, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Hi, Eric. Your link doesn’t work for me. I live in Liverpool and know what you mean. It looks in a very sorry state, approaching its Centenary.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Correction Time. 20th Century did not take over the Theatres. There was an agreement as in THX to-day.. When Cinemascope and 4 Track came out Rank would not spend the money on the instulation… So Fox went to the leading Independant in the City or Town and gave them the release if the owners spent the money on the needed alterations We did the same in Walsall (Empire) (Clifton) Wolverhampton.. Regal Leamington.. and a few others in our chain.. The Futurist and Scalas in Both Liverpool and Birmingham was controled by Alderman Levy… Liverpool Theatres sold to ABC Birmingham much laters was sold to Shipman and King which at the time ws owned by Lew Grade…

Picturedrome
Picturedrome on September 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm

If anybody needs correcting, it’s the late Harold Ackroyd. I soon learned not to repeat anything he said unless I could find the original source. The operating company at the year ending 31 December 1957 was the “Futurist (Liverpool) Ltd”. Alderman Alfred Levy was the Managing Director. By March 1960 it was an ABC house.

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

@ Picturedrome You info is correct… My Knowledge comes from 40 years waged in the business… Plus knowledge from my family, who had interests in their own theatres plus other chains. I am currently working on correcting Cinema and Theatre Myths..

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Hi Picturedrome, Iv'e finally managed to get my photo on site, thanks to Dr Beryl my niece. Please click on the photos tabs.

lauharrington
lauharrington on October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Hi, I am directing documentary surrounding the original cinemas in Liverpool. As most of these once thriving buildings have been left to decay I am hoping to tell there stories through the people who remember them. If you would like to contribute towards my documentary (“The Dream Factory”) please email me L.HarringtonCineplex Odeon Winston Churchill 24.ljmu.ac.uk Thank you for reading, let’s tell their story. Laura

lauharrington
lauharrington on October 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm

.uk as my email address above doesn’t show!

keiths
keiths on November 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16640632@N03/9444882991/in/photolist-foBuEc-8xh2Kr-hnMme7-ejtT8X-hnM5mX-hnMnyw-hgKjtd-hgL6cd-hnM8T7-hgKcGu-hnMxdm-hgKuTc-hgJVvR-hnLWKz-hgK4cn-hgLVwM-hnM66U-hgL6Ha-hnMgYA-hnNkzi-hnLMM4-hnMaTj-hnLFqr-dCrzv8-9S9JSi-de5BPL-9Le3hX-9WtFMJ-bnUn4n-8GgUGt-9feDwb-dWe2wD-dAiko2-8BgjrJ-7BreYh-8pcznL-8DVqu4-8xk4ho-bAF7VS-hnMFyQ-hgKcep-hnLKST-hnNkiM-hnMnsw-gKSKBe-hgLrzz-hgKU1U-hnM9ho-hnMrwH-hgKYrY-hnMzUf

A very sad pic here…

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on December 8, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I’ve uploaded my latest photo of the Futurist which I took today. Thought for a second it had reopened with ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ with all the plants that’s growing out of the building.I visit Liverpool at least once a year,and it looks worse every time. Please just click on Photos.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater