Liverpool, L3 5NF
Date opened: Monday 15th October 1934
Date Closed: Tuesday 30th September 2008
Architect: F T Verity & S. Beverley FRIBA
First film shown: “Cleopatra” starring Claudette Colbert.
Seating Capacity: 2670
Present Day- Demolished during November 2010
Costing £240.00, the Paramount was Liverpool’s largest cinema. Boasting 1972 seats in the stalls with a further 698 in the balcony. Built on a site of 30.000 square feet that had previously been occupied by a boxing stadium by building contractors William Tomkinson and Sons. A series of names were put forward such as Plaza, Stadium and Mayfair. Finally the owners settled on Paramount which was the name of the company that owned it.
The frontage of the building was tall and imposing with carved features, faced in silica stone. Due to an existing store the frontage was restricted to half that of the cinema building behind so extending the frontage round into Pudsey Street was to compensated for any loss of impact to the approach of this fine cinema.
The auditorium was 120′ wide and 70′ in height. The proscenium (stage) width was 80′. Supple colours of cream, terracotta, grey and blue with Japanese style designs featured on the walls in gilt. Coves provided hidden and indirect lighting.
On Monday 15th October 1934 the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor George Alfred Strong, JP, performed the opening ceremony. The first manager was Tony C Reddin, assisted by L J Harris in charge of nearly 200 members of staff.
It was taken over by Odeon in 1942 and almost immediately renamed.
The decorative features were entirely destroyed in 1968 when the stalls and balcony were separated to form two individual cinemas seating 989 in screen 1 (the extended balcony) and well over 1,000 in the huge stalls (screen 2). Odeons 3 and 4 were created by sub-dividing screen 2 in 1973 with the front portion retaining 595 seats and the new auditoria at the rear containing 167 seats each. A large bar in the former circle foyer was in 1979 converted to Odeon 5 with 148 seats.
In Autumn 1999, the building was further subdivided when additional screens were divided out of screens 1 & 2 and an additional 180 seat screen was added on what had been the former stage.