I have just finished this cool illustration of the former Futurist cinema in Liverpool. I wanted to draw this building specifically, because it is actually set to be demolished within the next month or thereabouts, following a lengthy trend in the UK of doing away with our old picture palaces. Opening in 1912, it is believed to be Liverpool’s first purpose built picture house, which makes its loss all the more tragic, but perhaps sadder still is that it has been left to rot since closing in 1982. With all the development and regeneration that the city has seen over the last decade, it is surprising that the centrally located Lime Street, which the building resides upon, has escaped renovation until now. Surprising because the street is commonly seen to be one of the city’s worst grot-spots, despite being one of the first streets visitors to the city are likely to encounter. And what fantastic gateway development are we getting to replace this once grand area? Yes, that’s right – a row of shops with a bland, uninspiring student accommodation ‘box’ thrown on top for good measure. What a huge middle finger to the cinematic heritage of the area. Anyway, enough ranting! As soul destroyingly generic as the new development might be, it will still likely improve an outsiders perspective on the city. The Futurist is, as we are lead to believe, beyond repair and the truth of the matter is that the final nail in the coffin came when it closed it’s doors back in the 80s. I suppose we should be grateful that it hasn’t already been turned into Mecca Bingo, a fate worse than demolition!
This drawing was made to simply acknowledge the cinema’s brighter past and to help us remember the building once the shoppers and students are busy pumping extra money into the economy, apparently.
Here are a few pictures showing how the building looks at present, how it looked in 1912 and also a few snaps of drawing progress.