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.
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