Heritage conservationists appear to have won the battle to preserve Abbey Cinema on Church Road North after the supermarket giant withdrew plans to demolish the building when it was granted grade two-listed status.
Lidl, which bought the site from previous occupier Co-op, said it was considering its next move after Historic England listed the building last month.
Now, the firm has gone back to the drawing board, withdrawing its plans for an 18,000 sq ft store at the site.
A spokesperson for Lidl said: “Following Historic England’s decision to the list the building, we have withdrawn our planning application while we consider our next steps.”
Options for the company moving forward include submitting a listed building application in the hope that Liverpool City Council will grant it permission to demolish the cinema. Alternatively, Lidl could sell the site, however its diminished redevelopment potential might impact the company’s returns.
Historic England claims the former Abbey Cinema, designed by architect Sir Alfred Ernest Shennan, is an “increasingly rare example of a medium-scale 1930s ‘super cinema’ built for a small independent local chain in the heyday of cinema design and cinemagoing”.
However, Lidl claims the building is in a state of disrepair and is unfit for use as a shop in its current state.
“Following thorough surveys and assessments of the existing building, it is quite clear that it is beyond economic repair,” said Stuart Jardine, Lidl’s regional head of property.