The Woolton – Mason Street, Woolton
The Woolton Cinema at this moment in time December 2013, is Liverpool’s only surviving cinema from the golden age of film.
Announced on the 26th of August, 1926, it is situated approximately six miles to the south-east of the city on Mason Street, between Woolton Street and Church Street. When it was first constructed the building cost about £10,000 and could seat a little over 700 patrons in its stadium style auditorium. In order to achieve maximum capacity the seats were placed very close together and began very close to the 27′ proscenium and small stage. Despite the existence of a stage there is no record that the Woolton was ever home to live entertainment.
The Woolton is believed to have officially opened its doors on the 26th of December, 1927 according to older district residence. It was not long before the Woolton upgraded to a sound system, a BTH system which reduced the seating to 673 as the screen moved forward to allow for speakers.
The next technical upgrade the Woolton received came in the mid 1950’s with the installation of magnetic sound and a CinemaScope system. The first picture to make use of the new technology was There’s no Business Like show Business on Halloween night 1955. A few years later, in 1958, the Woolton was closed for 3 months after a fire damaged the sound system, stage, and curtains. The auditorium was redesigned for the grand re-opening with a larger screen and wall-to-wall curtains.
In the mid 1980’s the Woolton Cinema under went another series of heavy renovations, converting it into the 256 luxury seat cinema it still exists as this today.
In the last few years the Woolton has undergone an upgrade to digital to stay in keeping with the standards of the current film industry. At this time the Woolton is the only remaining cinema in Liverpool to run films on celuloid but rumour has it it will turn to digital in the new year 2014.
“I loved going to the Woolton”
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They used to give you tea and biscuits on a Wednesday afternoon
Take a look at the Flickr album;
A film by Frank Baker– Reel Heroes at the Woolton Cinema 15th October 2014
A film by Frank Baker – Takes a look inside the cinema
and talks to David Parr the current projectionist.
A film by David Ellis