Lime Street cinema to be reborn as gig venue

Developer Neptune said it expects to submit a planning application in the coming weeks for the renovation of the former ABC cinema on Liverpool’s Lime Street.

Steve Parry, managing director, said: “We couldn’t make progress with a planning application until we were certain work could go ahead on the Eastern terrace.

“But starting work gives confidence to investors that the ABC project is going to form part of a much wider regeneration programme.”

Under proposals drawn up by architects Austin-Smith:Lord and due to be submitted to Liverpool City Council, the grade two-listed former cinema would be converted into a multi-use music and entertainment venue.

If approved, the new ABC is likely to include a music venue, TV broadcast facilities, bars and restaurants, with the flexibility to host all kinds of live music events. The proposed investment in refurbishing and converting the prominent building could be as high as £11m. The ABC cinema opened in 1931 as the Forum Cinema and was a fixture of the city centre entertainment scene until it closed in 1998.

Parry added: “We are in advanced discussions with operators and we believe it will be a fantastic venue of international standing and, given where it’s positioned, it will be saying welcome to Liverpool.”

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

I hope Lime Street can finally be improved now, whatever the different views are(including my own) it now needs the restoration and development urgently to improve the whole aspect and make it more welcoming and appealing to the thousands of visitors who use it everyday.

By Man on bicycle


By zebith

Yes we need the wow factor!

By Mary Smiley

Love this,


We only suggested this about, ooh, 13 yrs ago…

Better late than never, eh?!

By MancLass

Liverpool in 10 to 15 years will be the 2nd city again mark my word .

By Rob

Rob, there is no need for sarcasm.

By Brian

Lets hope this re-purposing acts as a catalyst for the rest of Lime Street – and prompts a rethink on the dire plans currently approved. This stretch is a complete hole from St Johns and south to the Adelphi. A complete insult to St George’s Hall, the Plateau and the city as a whole

By timelord

I’m hoping the “2nd city” comment was sarcastic – its a pathetic aspiration with no real meaning. The aspiration should be simply to continuously make the city a better place to live for the people of Liverpool.

By zebith

Will be lucky as ppl put objections in yrs ago over it being turned into a club :@

By John Kittelsen

D’ya have to be so sarcastic Manclass! This is fantastic news! the second piece of great news for Lime Street in as many weeks, the other being the creation of a new square at St. George’s Place to set off the neo-classical masterpiece that’s St. George’s Hall. Second piece of the jigsaw in place… when eventually St. John’s is redeveloped which it will be Liverpool’s ‘Forum’ on the plateau will match the quality of the waterfront!

By Alfie

Why do we get such terror in Manchester when Liverpool is mentioned as future second city? Because it’s a distinct possibility I guess… there’s no reason why the Irwell should be the centre of the north west let alone the north.

By Alfie

Brian’s comment is out of sync… ‘doctored’ by Place NW..

By Alfie

Alfie, I wasn’t being sarcastic and it was def was not a ‘Manc-vs-Lpool’ jibe. Was simply pointing out that this was raised as a serious option by the city’s regen body a decade ago but the city burghers rejected the idea in favour of (IMHO) less viable options – as proven by the fact none of those options came to fruition. It’s been sad to see this marvellous building left unused and its fabric deteriorate further over the past decade as a result.

Plus I for one know Mcr’s burghers are not perfect either!

By MancLass

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 12,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 12,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

Would you also like to receive our free PlaceTech Weekly newsletter, covering innovation in property?*