Liverpool, L12 5HJ
Date opened: Saturday 30th July 1927
Date Closed: 5th January 1960
Architect: Lionel A G Prichard.
Owners: West Derby Picture House Co Ltd.
First General Manager: Charles Radcliffe.
Seating capacity: 939.
WEST Derby, Liverpool became the home to The West Derby Picture House, opening on Saturday the 30th July 1927 to an invited audience. The official opening took place On Monday the 1st of August. The opening attraction was “The King of the Turf”, the second feature was “Blue Ribbon”. It was designed by Liverpool architect Lionel A G Prichard and had seating for 939. These were plush tip-up types. It was stated that the crush hall could accommodate over one hundred people.
The owners were the West Derby Picture House Co Ltd, whose registered capital was £10,000. Directors included Horatio Kenton, Alfred Adams and H Trevor Ellis. Charles Radcliffe was the first manager. Lighting in the main auditorium was concealed behind mouldings at the top of the walls. Over three hundred lamps in five colours were fitted and by manipulating switches thirty different shades of illumination was obtained. The stage lighting was fitted on battens and the screen was illuminated in a variety of shades.
It was the first cinema in Liverpool to install Ernemann Imperator 11 projectors. The orchestra was styled the Neapolitan Grand Orchestra, comprising six musicians under the direction of Thomas Hornsby. Two performances were given nightly and there were daily matinees.
Talkies arrived On the 13th October 1930 with the first sound film shown ~ “Paris”. A new BTH system was installed for this. Cheshire County Cinemas operated the cinema from 1946.
In October 1955 Cinemascope was installed and it became the Plaza. The cinema was closed on 5th January 1960 with Peter Sellers in “The Mouse that Roared” and “Juke Box Rhythm”.
The building was then converted into a supermarket.
David A Ellis©chestercinemas.co.uk