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The Forum Lime Street

A look behind the boarded up facade of the old Forum Cinema
The Forum Cinema Lime Street

The Forum Cinema on Lime Street opened on the 16th May 1931 having been designed by Willian R. Gen and Alfred  Ernest Shennan for Associated British Cinemas (ABC) at a cost of £200,000 pounds The massive  six-storey Portland stone facade was a feature of Lime Street on of Liverpool main thouroughfares. The Foyer was lined  with Italian Marble.

The Forum was one of the finest super cinemas of the early 30s, with a 100 ft. bronze canopy, a white marble stairway and cafĂ©. Thousands of Merseysiders went to "the pictures" at the Forum until the early 80s, when it was converted to a triple screen venue. On 24th August l982, over 5,000 people passed through the £350,000 conversion, to watch a specially produced short called "The Cinema Strikes Back". This was intended to win back former cinema goers. 

The 28 Days later lads managed to get inside and take this photographic record before the old fixtures and fittings bit the dust.  it is my understanding that the buildin is now just a shell.

The Main Entrance

The auditorium, in a semi-atmospheric style, depicted Venetian scenes, contains an amazing proscenium treatment consisting of a vast curved canopy over the arch and the side boxes.

It was re-named ABC from 17th February 1971 and due to its opulence and excellent location the cinema survived intact until 1982 when it was converted to a three screen

Indirect light light was a feature, except for a huge 'sunburst' light fitting above the balcony.

Art Deco style in evidence throughout the cinema

A shallow stage was provided together with a Compton organ on a lift in front of the stage.Because of the relatively small width of the site

1,835 capacity was achieved by having a huge circle containing 750 of the seats.

From around 1985 it had been re-named Cannon. It closed on 29th January 1998 with a special screening of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca  when a special admission fee of 50p was charged.

The last proposal to do anything with the building was in 2007/08  when a proposal was put forward to turn it into  'boutique' hotel and supper club, but the plans were later withdrawn.The cinema was apparently stripped out completely in 2012.


Source information and photographs
28 Days Later

Robert f Edwards

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