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Great Britain ABC/Canon/Forum Cinema - Liverpool - Feb 20

The Excursionists

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ABC/Canon/Forum Cinema:

We had originally planned to hold off on this site for a little while longer at least due to the beauty of it, but with many people visiting it over the last few months and the recent pandemic causing us to be pushed for videos, we decided to compile all shots and footage and showcase our take on the site over two trips. This had become a must see after returning to the hobby and after multiple attempts and scouts since commuting past the spot everyday, one night early feb we cracked it.

There plenty of recent and older reports documenting this site too so if you're unfamiliar, you might want to have a look around!

We visited with @Urbandoned and a non-member on our first trip and came back to shoot some more shots and video a second time round with another non-member.
Our local guiding us through, made it rather difficult to film for both us and @Urbandoned but made for some fun times editing.

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We began fulfilling our goal of getting a roof shot looking out across Lime Street Station. Sadly not many cars out at this time so no thick light trails.

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We then journeyed into the cinema itself to find the main target.
Old photos show the cinema hall's working state without the progression of decay.

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History:

Liverpool’s former ABC Cinema is a Grade II listed building in the Art Deco style.
Built for ABC Cinemas, the six story building was designed by William R. Glen and Alfred Ernest Shennan for £200,000. The impressive balcony to which the above photo is taken from held 750 seats bringing the total capacity from 1085 to 1835.
Originally, the cinema opened in 1931 as "The Forum". The cinema was renamed ABC Cinema in February 1971 and survived intact until 1982 when it was converted to three screens; the additional two mini cinemas were installed under the balcony. It was re-named Cannon in 1986 and remained so until closure in 1998. The sites first showing was "Almost a Honeymoon" and the final showing was Casablanca with an entry fee of £1!



The blue doors took you out onto the balcony where you able to get a sense of the magnitude of the room.

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Alex finally got a new camera and was able to experiment with some angles:

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The working power within the site was another big attraction. After several minutes, over numerous occasions messing with the panel we worked out that turning on the lights caused a loud alarm to be triggered that went off after what seemed like a lifetime. When we had captured our shots in the dark and knew we had what we needed, we went for more and attempted to turn the lights on and shoot as many shots we could. The lower level lights only came on during our visits and after becoming even more greedy and trying to work out how the rest of them switched on, the alarm began to change tone causing our first visit to come to an end. On our second visit, we left the lights alone after hearing they didn't work and experimented with some better light painting and film/photograph various we missed.

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Other than the main hall, the lobby areas, hallways and basement all offered interesting detail that you'd struggle to find in any cinema today.

Bits of popcorn even remained within this stand:

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After missing the lens room on our first visit, we instantly headed down in search of the stacked wooden shelves full of timeless equipment.

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Due to the location of this building there most likely is hope for the saving of the site. IonDevelopments have proposed the cinema hall converted into a new performance venue and sound stage with associated bars and restaurant. It will also incorporate facilities for Digital Media Content production. Work was supposedly starting in 2018 but evidently, not much has changed.

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As always, feel free to watch our video on the site below. We are slowly progressing the style of our videos, including more history and shortening them down to make them as respectful, informative and enjoyable as possible.


Thanks for reading!
 
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