Grand Central Hall
By Lis Edgar
Central Hall was designed by architects Bradshaw and Gass and opened on the 5th December 1905. Sir Henry H. Fowler opened the large hall with the lord mayor present. It was built by the Liverpool Methodist Mission to replace premises on Mount Pleasant.
As well as housing the Methodist Mission, on the 14th December 1908 it opened as the New Century Picture Hall, one of Liverpool's first cinemas. The Central Hall could hold four thousand people and was the second largest place to show films in Liverpool.
The Liverpool Echo dated 28th October 1922 contained an explanation for the mixing of religious services with cinema shows by the Reverend T. A. Turney:
"…They were designed to introduce "down-and-outers" to the mission. Our prices of admission are 3d and 5d. We have an organ recital, a hymn, a short prayer, and then a concert followed by one long picture…the concerts and services are designed for those whom others might term "undesirables", and a great deal of good is being done."
In 1933 the old Philharmonic Hall was destroyed by fire, and until 1939 the Liverpool Philharmonic played at Central Hall when the new Philharmonic Hall was opened. My personal memory of concerts at Central Hall is when I saw Gil Scott-Heron perform there in the late 1980s, a very memorable performance it was too.
In May 1990 the Methodists put the hall up for sale as the cost of upkeep
had become too expensive. Major restoration took place and it reopened
in November 1998 as the Barcelona Bar and Grand Central Hall nightclub.
So if you miss Quiggins or are just after something different, come on down, explore and support the many different traders that make up the alternative shopping experience of Grand Central Hall.
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Comment left by Paul Fleming on 27th June, 2008 at 23:46
Comment left by Paul on 27th June, 2008 at 23:47
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