Liverpool, L3 8JR
Date opened: 13th April 1922
Date Closed: 4th May 1974
Architects: T. Taliesin Rees & Holt FRIBA
Building Contractor: Beavis Ltd of Portsmouth.
Original owners: Associate company of Provincial Cinematograph Theatres.
Seating Capacity: Stalls- 831. Balcony- 516 Total: 1347
Building demolished 1996.
At that time the Trocadero Super Cinema was Liverpool’s largest cinema. The architects, Taliesin Rees & Holt FRIBA took full advantage of this practically square shaped building placed on a central city site in Camden Street, creating an elaborate cinema that seated 1347 customers.
The wide and imposing frontage was faced in glazed white stone. The main entrance doors were off set to the right hand-side. A narrow canopy spanned the entire width of the front of the building.
The stage end of the cinema had an usual array of stages. Two small stages flanked the centre stage and were intended for use by the Playhouse Theatre artists to present beautiful scenes that were illuminated during the intervals.. The central stage was 30′ wide and 40′ in depth allowing stage presentations. Originally the picture was projected from the rear of the stage on to a translucent screen.
The Trocadero had a wide ornate carved plaster barrel vaulted ceiling. The balcony accommodated 516 customers and a further 831 seats were situated in the stalls. The overhaul decoration was in pastel tones. Electric lighting was described as indirect with gas wall mounted lights providing the secondary source of illumination.
The Grand Opening took place on 13th April 1922 with the film- “The Queen Of Sheba” starring Betty Blythe was shown on a “scientifically correct curved screen”. Admission charges were 1/-, 1/9, and 2/4.
This cinema was the first in Liverpool to introduce organ interludes which started on 10th October 1927. A Wurlitzer 2Manual/6Ranks organ had been installed and was played by visiting organists such as the famous London broadcasting organist Sidney Gustard and Reginald Foort. In March 1937 the Wurlitzer was transferred to the Gaumont, Dingle.
PCT had become part of the Gaumont Circuit in February 1929. That same year a Western Electric sound system was installed enabling the first talkie to be screened at the Trocadero on 26th August.
Lancashire’s First Wurlitzer was installed in 1927 at the Trocadero Liverpool, then moved to Gaumont Dingle during 1938. It’s home now is at Peel Green where well known organist, Dave Nicholas, is photographed at the console.
On 18th September 1950 the cinema was re-named Gaumont. The unique three stages disappeared in 1954 when Cinemascope was installed. The first film shown in this new ratio on 31st January was “How To Marry A Millionaire” starring Marilyn Monroe & Betty Grable.
With the larger and better situated Odeon nearby the importance of this venue gradually diminished and later when the Odeon was twinned then quadrupled the Gaumont became surplus to requirements and closed on 4th May 1974.
A snooker hall was established in the building which in turn closed. After several years of dereliction the building was demolished during 1996.