Coronavirus: Liverpool's oldest cinema closed by 'severity' of impact

Woolton Picture House Image copyright Google
Image caption The owners said the cinema "will always hold a sentimental place in all our hearts"

The "devastating and unforeseen" impact of Covid-19 has led to the closure of Liverpool's oldest surviving cinema.

The owners of Woolton Picture House said it was with "great sorrow" that they had made the "toughest decision to permanently close".

They added that rather than saying goodbye to "our beloved cinema", they would simply say "you had me at hello".

The building, which first opened on 26 December 1927, was initially closed on 18 March by the Covid-19 lockdown.

The single-screen cinema was originally built to host 800 people on wooden benches before more comfortable seating was added in the 1930s and has previously returned from two closures.

Image copyright Sue Adair/Geograph
Image caption A plaque on the building celebrates it as "the oldest surviving cinema in Liverpool"

Having stayed open during World War Two, surviving the bombing of Liverpool, it was devastated by fire in the summer of 1958, but reopened three months later.

In 2006, the sudden deaths of its chief projectionist and owner in 2006 saw it closed again.

It reopened again in March 2007 and went on to feature in the 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy.

It also hosted the red carpet premiere of Indian blockbuster Madrasapattinam a year later.

In a statement, its owners said they would "forever remember and think fondly of a place that allowed us to share time with the Hollywood stars, be absorbed into other worlds and leave reality behind for a short time".

"Many happy moments and wonderful memories have been created at the cinema during the 93 years it has been open," they added.

"Woolton Picture House will always hold a sentimental place in all our hearts."

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