Roscommon Cinema

Roscommon Street,
Liverpool, L5 3NG

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: W.J. Speakman Circuit

Styles: Tudor Revival

Previous Names: Roscommon Music Hall, King's Theatre of Varieties, Roscommon Picture Palace

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Roscommon Cinema

In the Everton district of Liverpool, in 1892, the Roscommon Music Hall was constructed by adapting two spacious dwellings. The auditorium seated 600 on forms on the ground floor, seats in the circle and in boxes at either side of the stage. The orchestra pit accommodated eight musicians and the stage area measured 30ft by 20ft. The Roscommon Music Hall opened on 16th May 1892, providing entertainment for local, working class people who could not afford a visit to the more prestigious city centre theatres.

Early in the 1900’s the hall was renamed the King’s Theatre of Varieties. Drama replaced variety after a few years, but the growing popularity of films led to it being rebranded as Roscommon Picture Palace. Further, extensive alterations in 1915 made it even more suitable as a cinema.

In the early-1930-s a British Talking Pictures(BTP) sound system was installed and the cinema was listed with 800-seats. In the very early-1940’s, the cinema was taken over by B and S Cinemas Ltd. headed by W.J. Speakman, but their stewardship ended abruptly following severe damage during a German air raid in 1941.

The cinema was closed until 1947, then was reopened by London-based Duncan Entertainments, following repairs and refurbishment which still left the cinema with 585 seats, very close to its original capacity. Low prices - 7d to 1/3 - were maintained, and the cinema initially survived against strong opposition.

However, the end was inevitable, and it arrived on 13th December 1958, when the final show was the CinemaScope western “White Feather”, starring Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter, supported by Dorothy Adams and Richard Conte in “Overnight Haul”.

The building was initially used by a firm of construction engineers before being demolished as part of a major redevelopment of the area.

Contributed by David Simpson
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