History Part 3 – End of an Era

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A photograph of the cinema taken in 1954

In 1954 ‘Twentieth Century Fox’ leased The Futurist & showed cinema scope films for the 1st time in Liverpool showing wide screen movies, this was until 1960 when they relinquished control & ABC took it over for £135,000, they spent a further £50,000 on upgrades, reducing the seating capacity to 870.

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A photograph of the cinema taken in 1963

ABC reopened The Futurist in July 1960 and kept control of it until its closure in 1982.

ABC owned 12 cinemas in Liverpool including the Scala & the Forum. Both the Scala & The Futurist were closed to makeway for the Forums new multi screen cinema.

The closures were blamed on the shortage of good films, video market, the recession and unemployment.

Since then the building has fell into a state of dilapidation. There have ben a few plans for The Futurist and also Lime Street as a whole including Bolton Steet (Behind) however nothing has come to fruition.

Examples are:

Lifestyle LTD in Jan 1984, 18m after its closure plans to turn The Futurist into a 1920’s style nightclub (Liverpool Echo 24.1.1984)

The Skelhorne Triangle (Liverpool Echo 29.7.99)

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7 thoughts on “History Part 3 – End of an Era

  1. Will do. Is the building council property or have developers left it to rot so they can demolish it?
    This has happened to the La Scala Runcorn a few weeks ago. Designed by Leonard Clegg, it was built in 1913 and now apartments are to be built on the site.

  2. It’s a disgrace to see such a fine building has been left to rot away when the public would appreciate it. Any help that you may need, just let me know. The Royal Court has been saved many times over the years and this year was the start of it’s fabulous renovation with the aid of it’s funding from the Heritage Lottery fund.
    Maybe a film historian and local actors could help then maybe funding could be likely.

    • In the next few weeks Were looking to set up some kind of society where everyone interested can come together, form a team where together we can save this iconic, fantastic building. I hope you can come on board, your enthusiasm is just what’s needed!!!
      Watch this space, follow me on twitter and as soon as were ready we will arrange to meet.

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