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Report - - Forum / ABC Cinema Liverpool - 17/10/07 | Theatres and Cinemas |

Report - Forum / ABC Cinema Liverpool - 17/10/07

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
another one crossed off my to-do list :)

met up with Saad, and after doing the Tate and Lyle tower we headed back up to the Forum cinema on Lime Street. Access was comedy, and a couple of slightly scary moments.

Done a bit of research into the building, it was built in 1931 and is grade II listed building. Very art deco. It closed January 29th 1998. It was converted into a 3 screen cinema during the 80's. This was done by splitting the lower auditorium seating area in two and building a hideous breezeblock wall accross the front of the old stage area.

took quite a few pictures, some i am happy with, some i am not. my first attempts at shooting in zero light - and i reckon something more powerful than an energizer head torch would've come in useful!

1>this is just through the main entrance. behind the camera is the ticket office. the doors on the left lead to the small screens where as the stairs in the distance lead up to the main screen.

2>taken from what used to a snack bar in the main entrance. you can see the ticket office in the top left corner. and straight ahead are the two doors that lead to the two small screens. through the left door, you can just see the door that leads into the projection room (shared between the two small screens)

3> signage in the ticket office

4> one half the of the shared projection room for the two smaller screens. you can just a cut out on the floor to the left where the projector would've stood - and you can see the ducting that would've cooled it.

the projectors are long gone, but there is control kit still kicking about.




9> remains of an old bulb? it looked like one, but i've never seen a non smashed one!

there was a sign on the door, listing show times on the day of closing. In screen 1 there was The Jackal or Casablanc, screen 2 was showing Picture Perfect and screen was showing The Full Monty.

10> such detail. down the marble stairs, below street level now

11> we found a small projector, outside a room full of various spare parts for projectors and other cinema related things

12> a room full of lenses, and a bowl of silver powder

13> some pretty hench switch gear was found

14> and a ticket machine. this was from the ticket office, and would've been used to automatically issue tickets off a big roll. there was one still in situ at the ticket office, but this one had and been removed.

15> downstairs we found an employee restroom, with a small kitchen and a room with lockers in it. with these shiny silver shoes

16> back upstaris and up the stairs to the main screen. the stairs come up, split left and right, and then rejoin in an upper level foyer - this looks down onto the main stairs.

17> origonal features are still pretty much intact

18> into screen one. now.. this is a crap photo, and i didnt take anymore from this angle.. it is here just to show how vast this screen is!

19> taken from near the back. the room to the right is the projection room. it is more stripped than that of the smaller screens. so there are no photos of it!

20> this is looking up from near the screen

21> the lights were quite spectacular. an amount of water damage on the ceiling in here though :(

22> this is one of the orignal screens, which was blocked off in the 80's when the cinema was converted

23> not entirely sure on the setup here. i think the breeze block wall to the right forms the back of the screens for the two lower screens. but we got a bit disorientated in there. i'm also not sure why there'd have been two screen/stage looking areas. or would there have been an upper and lower seating area. (current screen 1 being the upper, and screens 2+3 being the lower) and the single screen being set as far back as it was.. all would be able to see.

24> winding gear for the origonal screen curtains. not far from all this was a second, small, old looking ticket office and an entrance at street level. It looked like it hadnt been used in a long time and the window in the office was boarded.. but it was defeintly a ticket office. I didn't get any photos, but Saad did.

25> had to go up to the roof.




There is currently scaffolding up round the Forum. There was an open day for the building back in January where developers came to look round (hence the taped off areas, and floodlights).

Liverpool Echo said:
The proposals from Urban Splash include conversion of the main upper auditorium into a luxury New York-style supper club, which will be accessed via the main ground floor foyer and lobby.

It will also convert the two smaller cinema screens on the ground floor into new retail leisure units with independent access from Lime Street and create a boutique hotel on the top floor.

Paul Spooner, regional director of English Partnerships, said: “The cinema building is listed and many of the internal features must be retained and enhanced.

“Integral to the plans is Urban Splash’s commitment to comp-rehensively and sensitively refurbish the cinema to its former glory.

“This is a fantastic-looking building on a key site and we are very excited by the concept, which will enable it to play a key role in Liverpool’s vibrant social scene once again.â€Â

Bill Maynard, managing director of Urban Splash, said: “This high profile building is an important part of Liverpool’s architectural history. We’re very keen to restore this architectural gem and its glorious interior will form a magnificent backdrop for the proposed supper club.â€Â

Plans are expected to be submitted to the city in July 2008 and, if permission is granted, work will start on site in late 2008 and be completed by mid-2010.


so it looks like it will be developed, but not destroyed in the process. which is a good thing.


Re: Forum / ABC Cinema Liverpool - 17/10/07 - REPORT

It looks like a similar set-up to the former Odeon in Edinburgh. When they put two small screens in under the balcony, they stuck out a bit, restricting the view from the balcony seats above to the original proscenium opening. So they ended up creating a new screen further forward on top of the mini screens, abandoning the original. See here for a comparitive pic- the original proscenium is the orangey one on the left, the new reproduction one is the blue one on the right, built on the roof of the two mini cinemas underneath:

Odeon Clerk Street Tour