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18 Jul 2009 944 views
 
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photoblog image The fading picture palaces

The fading picture palaces


Standing on Mill Street in Liverpool is the now derelict Park Picture Palace. Originally built in 1893 as an urban music hall, it was to see moving pictures introduced in 1905, and in 1909 it was renamed the Park Palace Kinematodrome. It eventually closed in 1959 and sold to an engineering company. Later on after 1982 it was used as a Chemists shop which closed in 1995. There are proposals to re-open as a community theatre but they seem to have been stalled.

There were many of these suburban fleapits around Liverpool and most of them closed in the 60s and 70s. I remember the Tunnel Picturedrome, demolished in 1972 I think, in the 1950s when, as a boy of 9 or 10, a gang of us would get the bus on a Saturday to the Tunnel to see the films of the day, the Cisco Kid, Roy Rodgers, Zorro and many more. Hundreds of kids would burst out of the cinema after the show, firing imaginary guns or bows and arrows in a parody of our screen heroes, waiting to get the bus home. I just can not imagine the kids of today being allowed to do such things but we were none the worse for it, a vivid imagination, sixpence to get into the cinema and the comradeship of our peers was all we needed. And this was replicated all around the city in places such as the Park Palace, a different world indeed.

The fading picture palaces


Standing on Mill Street in Liverpool is the now derelict Park Picture Palace. Originally built in 1893 as an urban music hall, it was to see moving pictures introduced in 1905, and in 1909 it was renamed the Park Palace Kinematodrome. It eventually closed in 1959 and sold to an engineering company. Later on after 1982 it was used as a Chemists shop which closed in 1995. There are proposals to re-open as a community theatre but they seem to have been stalled.

There were many of these suburban fleapits around Liverpool and most of them closed in the 60s and 70s. I remember the Tunnel Picturedrome, demolished in 1972 I think, in the 1950s when, as a boy of 9 or 10, a gang of us would get the bus on a Saturday to the Tunnel to see the films of the day, the Cisco Kid, Roy Rodgers, Zorro and many more. Hundreds of kids would burst out of the cinema after the show, firing imaginary guns or bows and arrows in a parody of our screen heroes, waiting to get the bus home. I just can not imagine the kids of today being allowed to do such things but we were none the worse for it, a vivid imagination, sixpence to get into the cinema and the comradeship of our peers was all we needed. And this was replicated all around the city in places such as the Park Palace, a different world indeed.

comments (7)

  • zed
  • Australia
  • 18 Jul 2009, 02:52
Great processing, adds so much feel to the derelict building
Les Auld: Thanks Zed, appreciate the comment.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 18 Jul 2009, 06:37
This is absolutely charming Les: it's so important to capture these sorts of places before they vanish.
Les Auld: And vanishing they are Chris, thanks for the comment.
  • graham pickett
  • SUNNY SOUTHSEA ENGLAND
  • 18 Jul 2009, 07:11
You bring back lots of happy memories Les.Nowadays they just seem to want to stab each other and vandalise things,or have i just become old and cynical!!! Must agree with Chris,and hope that some councils or organisations in each area set up archives so that these images of social history are stored for future generations to access.Great capture,keep going,well done.
Les Auld: I think we all become more cynical as the years progress Graham, thanks for the comment.
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 Jul 2009, 07:12
Very poignant image, Les. Your memories are similar to mine in terms of Saturday cinema. One of my old cinemas formed the basic of the Southern TV studios, one of the early ITV companies. Even those studios habve now be bulldozed to the group including the old cinema. Sad.
Les Auld: It was a different world then Alan, thanks for the comment.
Apart from the excellent picture your narrative reminds me of our local Priory cinema and the matinee on Saturday afternoons in the 50's, Roy Rogers, Hoppalong Cassidy etc.etc. Good times. Sadly the cinema has gone now, flats are replacing it I think.
Les Auld: Happy memories Brian, thanks for the comment.
I remember Saturday morning pictures very well. We had great freedom in the 50' and 60's, much more so than the kids today enjoy. Sad to see all these old cinemas go.
Les Auld: It was so different Bill and we seemed to grow up ok. Thanks for the comment.
  • Marie
  • France
  • 20 Jul 2009, 17:45
superbe rendu.
Les Auld: Merci Marie.

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camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
exposure mode shutter priority
shutterspeed 1/200s
aperture f/13.0
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 17.0mm
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