Cannon Liverpool

Lime Street,
Liverpool, L1

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Forum Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Forum Cinema on 16th May 1931 with Clifford Mollison in “Almost A Honeymoon”. It was designed by William R. Glen and Alfred Ernest Shennan for Associated British Cinemas(ABC) at a cost in excess of 200,000 pounds.

A massive six-storey curved Portland stone facade remains a distinctive and highly prominent feature of Lime Street – one of Liverpools major thoroughfares. The foyer was lined with Italian marble.

The auditorium, in a semi-Atmospheric style, depicted Venetian scenes, contains an amazing proscenium treatment consisting of a vast curved canopy over the arch and the side boxes. Indirect light light was a feature, except for a huge ‘sunburst’ light fitting above the balcony.

A shallow stage was provided together with a Compton 3Manual/12Ranks organ on a lift in front of the stage, which was opened by organist Reginald Foort.

Because of the relatively small width of the site the 1,835 capacity was achieved by having a huge circle containing 750 of the seats.

It was re-named ABC from 17th February 1971 and due to its opulence and excellent location the cinema survived intact until 1982 when it was converted to a three screen operation by installing two mini-cinemas under the balcony seating 272 and 217 seats.

From 1986 it had been re-named Cannon. It closed on 29th January 1998 with a special screening of Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”, when a special admission fee of 50p was charged.

There were proposals to convert the building into a conference centre, but these stalled and the building has stood empty since closing. Proposals were put forward in late-2007 to convert it into a ‘boutique’ hotel and supper club, with plans going to Liverpool City Council in July 2008 and if permission was granted, work could start in late-2008. The building remained unused in April 2012.

It is Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

conlan
conlan on April 17, 2006 at 10:27 am

My father, Thomas Boyle was the artist who painted the advertising posters for the Forum Lime Street in the 1960s. I would love to know if any photographs of these posters have survived. Thanks.

Philip
Philip on September 7, 2006 at 12:40 am

2 of the interior here:

View link

DrMrEcho
DrMrEcho on February 25, 2007 at 9:34 am

Liverpool desperately needs a Beatles theatre for putting on shows,talks and films for the 1000’s of tourists who visit each year. Either the Forum or the Futurist seem like a no brainer to fulfill such a role. Why then are they in this state?!?

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 4, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Scaffolding being removed:
View link

Davell
Davell on July 30, 2008 at 8:10 am

Projectors were Ross with RCA sound. Light was provided by Peerless Magnarc. Later Philips FP20s were used.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on September 11, 2008 at 7:04 am

Is this the big cinema behind The Empire Theatre. If not what is the huge place i see on Google maps?

fatbarry2000
fatbarry2000 on January 17, 2009 at 2:09 am

Ian,

The place directly behind the Empire Theatre is the former Odeon – it was closed in 2008. The Forum is at the other end of Lime Street – as you move down it you can see the railway station roof on the right. Immediately after the station is a single square tower block, and opposite this diagonally is a large building with a curved front (in the image I can see on Google Maps there is a red bus and a green/white bus turning right in front of the building). This is the old Forum cinema.

This map shows a few of the Cinemas on/around Lime Street (best seen in Satellite View).http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=103713836400452876723.000460ac1b59b591b9891

fatbarry2000
fatbarry2000 on January 17, 2009 at 2:11 am

Second attempt at posting map link:
http://tinyurl.com/77fzh8

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Great Lime Steet photo smoothie.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 25, 2012 at 4:50 am

Please click on photos for 3 more pictures.

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