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Woolton Picture House

Woolton Picture House

Originally a 255 seat auditorium, the Woolton Picture House in Mason Street first opened on 26th December 1927 and is the oldest surviving cinema in Liverpool. The original name, Woolton Picture House is still visible above and behind the canopy at the entrance, the cinemas architect was Lionel Pritchard.

Due to the size of the plot of land the cinema was built on the building is set at a considerable angle to the road and the cinema is only connected to the foyer on the right hand side. The cinemas seating capacity was increased to 800 seats until the advent of 'talkies' in 1930 when the screen had to be moved forward to allow for the installation of speakers and the seating reduced to 650. In its heyday the Woolton Picture House was a typical family cinema showing films that had already been shown on the national cinema circuit, its village setting meant that it was popular with locals and people outside the area alike. On 22nd September 1958 a fire at the cinema almost completely gutted the building, however, it was rebuilt with a newer more modern look and had air conditioning installed, the seating capacity however was further reduced to 612.

The building, was the only single screen cinema in Liverpool and continued the tradition of interrupting films with an intermission, to allow for the sale of ice cream and refreshments.

This is a fine old cinema and part of the heritage of the city, so if your planning on going to see a film consider visiting and supporting the Woolton.

The cinema backs onto the village hall which was a venue where the Beatles appeared and played for the first time. Back in those days the Woolton was often referred to as the 'Bug House'. Today however, the cinema is well furnished and comfortable following a further modernisation.


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Robert F Edwards

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