Going To The Pictures

The Picture Palace of Bootle Knowsley Road Bootle

Image of original building as it stands today.


The Picture Palace of Bootle / Empire Picture Theatre was on Knowsley Road Bootle and as other picture houses we have looked at through the project was not built as a purpose built cinema. The building was built as Bootle Institute in 1882 and the buildings date plate can be seen engraved at the top of the building still today.

bootle pic palace web

It began showing moving images from 1908 when it was converted into a small stadium like cinema with seats for about 300. When it was opened on November 18th 1908 adverts in the local newspapers described it as showing “45 miles of film nightly!” Admission prices were 1/-, 6d and 3d with reduced prices for early doors of 8d and 4d.

The Picture Palace held film show matinees for children on Saturdays at 1pm and 3pm with prices of 1d and 2 d.

The name was changed in 1912 to The Empire Picture Theatre and was a popular venue despite local competition from other nearby picture houses. It wasn’t until The Gainsborough Cinema was opened almost directly opposite that the decline of The Empire came about.

Following closure as a cinema it was converted into a dance hall in 1922 and named The Palais de Dance. Over the years it has had several further changes of use including Bootle trades and Labour club and Knowsley Social Club.

Today the building still stands and is currently trading as Bootle Labour Club.

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