The sad news that Woolton Picture House is to close after 93 years means that another long-established and much-loved venue is to disappear.

The cinema, which first opened in 1927, is the latest community hub to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

The art-deco Picture House is set in a residential street in the beautiful village of Woolton, where it has been the backdrop for first dates, Christmas traditions and more.

Since the announcement last week, people have rallied round to donate thousands of pounds in a last ditch attempt to stop the cinema - one of the last traditional ones left on Merseyside - from closing.

Hopefully their efforts will bear fruit and Woolton Picture House will not join the long list of Liverpool's former cinemas which have disappeared for good.

Often housed in ornate buildings with names like the Rialto, the Roxy, or the Majestic, people would flock to them once, twice, even three times a week.

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These vintage cinemas all but disappeared with the advent of multiplexes and increasingly sophisticated ways of watching movies at home, which were almost as good as watching them in the cinema.

Back in January, we took a look back at some of the great cinemas on Merseyside which have been loved and lost over the years.

Lime Street

Lime Street was once dominated by three ABC cinemas - the large one overlooking St John's shopping centre and the mainline railway station, along with its two smaller cousins, the Futurist and the Scala.

Many of us will have fond memories of catching the new releases in these vintage picture houses - in many cases, it was our first ever experience of going to the cinema.

Of the three, only the main Lime Street ABC cinema still survives in mothballed form.

In November, it was reported a "number of options" were being considered for the future of the site - three years after the council gave the green light for plans to turn it into a performance venue.

Meanwhile, the long disused Futurist and Scala cinemas were demolished as part of a controversial redevelopment of Lime Street, with a Lidl store now covering part of the site.

London Road

The multi-screen Odeon cinema in London Road was once the only one of its kind in Liverpool, and survived well into the new millennium.

Again, it was a favourite haunt for many of us growing up.

The former Odeon cinema on London Road

It was rendered redundant when Odeon opened its new multiplex as part of the Liverpool One development in 2008.

Interior of the old Odeon cinema in London Road, which closed in 2008

The cinema was demolished to make way for a large development of new student flats, however the scheme was halted when the developer ran into difficulties, leaving behind a half-finished building.

Odeon Cinema London Road Liverpool during the early 1950s

Opposite the Odeon stood another cinema, the Gaumont.

The 051, Mount Pleasant

The 051
The 051

A three-screen cinema first opened at this site, at the junction of Brownlow Hill and Mount Pleasant, back in the 1970s. Its more usual fare then were porno flick double bills (this was long before the Internet), and the cinema went through a number of name changes and temporary closures before re-opening in the early 90s as the 051.

For those wanting a more "alternative" choice of films - such as arthouse and cult movies - this was the go-to place, but it struggled to attract enough punters to make it viable and the cinema finally closed for good in 1997. The vacuum for non-mainstream films was filled by the opening of Picturehouse at FACT early in the new millennium.

Birkenhead town centre

The town centre formerly boasted two main cinemas - the Classic on Conway Road, and the ABC on Argyle Street.

Although they had long since closed, both were still standing - that is, until this year.

A devastating fire led to the old Classic building - latterly a nightclub - being flattened in April. Meanwhile the Argyle Street cinema - which became a snooker hall and fitness club - was also demolished, to be replaced by a car park.

Gaumont cinema, Park Road, Dingle

Located on the corner of Dingle Lane and Park Road, the art deco building is a Liverpool landmark which once held a 1,500-seat cinema.

Opened in 1937, the curve-fronted cinema was built to replace the old Dingle Picturedome.

After functioning as a cinema for nearly three decades, the building was turned into a Top Rank Bingo Club in the 1960s.

It has stood empty and unused for a number of years, despite being bought and resold by potential investors looking to transform the site.

Last year the former Gaumont was put up for sale with Venmores Auctions, who have since confirmed that it was sold to an unknown bidder.

Majestic Cinema, Daulby Street

Liverpool cinemas are revisited in a new book by Keith Rose called After the pictures The Majestic, Daulby Street in 1971
The Majestic, Daulby Street in 1971

A cinema had occupied this prominent site, on the corner of Daulby Street and Prescott Street, since 1914.

The last one, the Majestic, opened in 1937 and was closed in 1970 with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Howard Keel in The Day of the Triffids.

Due to its sturdy construction, demolition of the building proved to be a difficult task. The site is now part of the grounds of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Did you have a favourite cinema which has now disappeared? Do you have any pictures of it? Send your memories and photographs to [email protected] and we may use it for a follow-up article.