Philharmonic Hall

Hope Street,
Liverpool, L1 9BP

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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 20, 2005 at 2:17 am

An auditorium view from the front stalls here:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 12, 2005 at 7:20 am

Films being screened over the next few months are; “Liverpool Film Festival” – ‘Archive Film Evening’, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Mighty Celt”, “A Very Long Engagement”, “Millions”, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Pride & Prejudice”, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (as part of the Liverpool Lesbian & Gay Film Festival), “Vertigo”, “Rear Window”, “North By Northwest”, “The Birds” and “In Search of Mozart”

All this and an organ pre-show concert too.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 9, 2005 at 1:22 pm

The Philharmonic Hall was opened on 19th June 1939 as a concert hall to replace the earlier 1849 built Philharmonic Hall that burnt down in 1933 while renovation work was being carried out. The new Philharmonic Hall had the additional (and unusual for a concert hall) advantage of being fully equipped with built-in cinema facilities.

These include a fully equipped projection booth (35mm & 16mm), a (now)unique Walturdaw unit weighing 7 Tons, that consists of a screen and a decorated proscenium equipped with screen curtains, which is housed below stage and rises up from beneath the stage (Only 3 were manufactured, one installed in St. Petersburg, Russia and the other in an Arab state, neither of which are thought to be in working order today). The concert organ is also installed on a revolve lift which can be played under stage or at stage level.

Regular screenings of Classic movies occur every few weeks and the entire building has the ‘look’ of an art deco Odeon style cinema of the 1930’s with concealed lighting hidden in troughs and rib coves in the ceiling and walls and a typical cinema look exterior. All fixtures and fittings from door handles to etched glass panels and light fittings are original to the building, which qualified it to become a Grade II Listed building.

OK, it may not be a ‘purpose built full time cinema’, but physically, it sure is a good representation of one and being it still continues to screen movies, it deserves to be listed here on Cinema Treasures.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 9, 2005 at 12:36 pm

Was this originally a cinema that eventually became a concert hall? If not, I doubt that it deserves to be listed here.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 9, 2005 at 10:01 am

The Philharmonic Hall is also equipped with a Rushworth & Dreaper 3 Manual concert organ. It was originally opened by noted organist Quentin MacLean in 1939. The organ is still played prior to the start of regular film nights at the ‘Phil’.