Going To The Pictures

The cinema as a community venue.

The Cinema’s of the 1930′s to the 1960′s were often seen as being a quite luxurious venue for the public to go to be entertained. The decor and ambiance would often be quite opulent as well as a place of warmth and safety.

Going to the pictures not only provided an escape from the outside world but also helped to bring together communities in a common meeting place which was affordable and had a feeling of luxury. It was a place where families, children, courting couples and individuals could go on a regular basis to be entertained, informed and in some cases educated through the flickering silver screen.

Some of the Picture Houses we have been looking at through the project were not built as purpose built cinemas. They were buildings made for other uses which were adapted to become picture houses. Such as the Gymnasium that became the Winter Gardens in Waterloo, and the Roller skating rink which became The Broadway Cinema in Bootle.

Over the years several of these buildings have been adapted again and have other uses within the community. Buildings such as the old Palladium Cinema in Seaforth which is now a gymnasium and amazingly retains many original features from when the building was erected 100 years ago, and the building of the once Gaumont and Bootle Odeon cinemas which is now used as a snooker hall.

The image below shows the site of the former Palladium Cinema, now a used as a gymnasium
The Old Palladium Cinema in Seaforth now used as a gym

Sadly many of the original building which were once magnificent cinemas within our community have now gone. Buildings such as the Corona Cinema which was on College road Crosby, The Stella Cinema which was on Seaforth Road, Seaforth and the beautiful building which was The Gainsborough Cinema on Knowsley road Bootle.

images below show The Gainsborough Cinema in Bootle and what stands in it place today