BIENNIAL 2016.PART 1. WHAT HAS BEEN.(FORMER)ABC CINEMA. LIME STREET.BY STEVEN BENSON

In about 1996, I saw the heartwrenching and beautiful gay movie, “Beautiful Thing” in the last days of the vast main Art Deco screen 1 of the  ABC Cinema, Lime Street. It gave up the ghost in January 1998. Even a couple of years earlier, there were maximum 10 people in the vast plush red auditorium.


It semi re-opened as part of the Biennial 2016 occupation of derelict spaces; the breezeblock monstrosity, which had been erected, in a futile attempt to compete with the multiscreen movie-houses,in the 1980s,had been removed and the massive two-storey auditorium was on display,though in its defunct, paint-peeling, distressing condition; here are some captures: very very dark, but showing haunting glimmers of the rosey splendour that was. There are also pictures of some of the exhibits.I shall be returning soon to take many more photographs and inhabit a liminal, spectral space/place between life and deathIMG_5580

The haunting vestiges of the huge screen; at the top, erstwhile beautiful plush, red décor

 

 

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Exhibits barely inhabitating the vast, cavernous space.In one I glimpsed Sebald.

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An image imposed, hopelessly, on the remains of the original, rucked curtain big screen

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A technical hitch caused the lights to go out, as the lights ARE extinguished for the ABC

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