Lime Street Redevelopment.

The Future vs the Past

Lime Street’s southern corridor is in for a wholesale makeover.

Traditionally this stretch of Lime Street had played host to Liverpool’s cinema alley, with the Palais Du Luxe, The Scala, The Futurist and The Forum/ABC all taking their place along the way. History has picked them off one by one.

As television came along cinema played a less and less vital part in people’s lives. Where once it was an essential part of knowing about the world, now more and more people were tuning into watch the news, programs and more importantly films, on the small screen in the comfort of their own home. Its no coincidence that the Futurist closed its doors in 1982, just as VHS was taking off. The last cinema, the ABC, closed its own doors on 28th January 1998, just as DVD was on the horizon.

And so the rot had set in. As each year passed the buildings became more dilapidated, more open to the weather. The street was left without a single caretaker for its old buildings. It was the haunt of the transient drinker, the lost tourist on the way to something else, and the pigeon which called it’s rooftops and attics home.

Tragically the former gem had become chipped and battered. The once proud Futurist, with all of it’s marble, swags, ornate floors and glints of gold had become a lump of coal. It’s ceilings were a mass of trees. It’s floor was a graveyard of brick and mortar. 1912 – 2015.

Allegedly beyond saving, the street has now come under the spotlight of Neptune and Liverpool City Council. They have resolved to give new life to this tired street. Their first try didn’t make sense. It was a nightmare of brown shrugging design. And then we shook them and they became fully aware. We needed something more from them. The result was the plans that stand today.

Now awash with colour and reflecting past shapes in it’s now modern exterior, a mix of 24 hour uses have been drawn up. The young have been invited back, and it’s the youth that made this place in the beginning. We will now guide visitors through to Bold Street and Hardman Street without having to give the usual “don’t look, its not all like this”.

But some say it’s still not enough. Will anything be good enough for our children.



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2nd August 2016 by Chris Gibson
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