It seemed to me, passing the erstwhile ABC “Futurist”{sic! where WAS its future?} cinema, wishing, as I did, to take sepia captures before total decimation: it seemed to me that I was (hommage to Sebald) watching my past vanish before/behind me{he writes, in “Across the Land and the Water”, pub and trans Galbraith, 2011, re the landscape, passing quickly when one is on a train journey:”and mutely it/watches you vanish”, the vanishing being the landscape AND the self, the spectral psychogeography of the mortal and/or erased/invisiblized self}.

Finding a black and white, old photograph on the ‘net,I felt a poignant surge of memory, nay rememberance; it was of the ornate, pillared foyer to the cinema, in its days of spendour, its heyday, and-not dissimilar to Proust’s (in)famous madeleine moment{“A la Recherché du Temps perdu, volume1, A Cote de Schwann”}-I felt that the picture  catalysed my past to catapault into my present, as I saw again(NOW) the marbled entrance hall{“I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls”, Bunn’s lyrics to Balfe’s once wellknown, now faded, opera , “The Bohemian Girl”, itself, self-referentially, evocative}; I saw the odd display showing the remaining seating capacity in circle and stalls (anachronistically, by then,the “Futurist” had only one screen, which,indubitably, led to its demise). This all flooded back, yet sans consolation; but, rather, reminding me of mortality and its psychogeographical concomitant the wilful(or, at least, it seemed so, to me) neglect of abandoned buildings, which could have been purchased near the time of extinction to be revived and restored at lesser expense than the near impossible task of re-vivification, years later,when time’s inexorable processes and attrition had set in and damaged them beyond repair, so that they had needs be GUTTED and re-used for untoward purposes(“boutique” hotels and their soulless ilk), a subject which had entered my (conscious and unconscious) mind since the gradual, painful decline of Lewis’s department store,the prompt for my first posts on this blog about decay, mortality and the consolations(or not) of melancholy   https://decayetude.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/desuetudeimages-and-text-on-decay-and-memory-inspired-by-sebald-and-the-death-of-a-department-store/

What shocked and startled me most was that the very ENTRAILS, the innards, the GUTS, of the “Futurist” were spilt out, for all to see: stairs leading to nowhere, fragments of projection rooms(I was not sure what was what).https://decayetude.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/the-futureist-the-scala-and-the-past-the-inside-becomes-the-outside-spectral-psychogeographical-post-by-steven-benson/

as if it were(some accounts said this as actually so)some deliberate, cruel attempt-the demise of Lime Street having been appealed by a group of community preservationists-to throw the insides of the erstwhile beautiful, grand cinema in the face of the protestors, who were merely trying to protect the/their past; allegedly, this semi-dereliction had occurred only HOURS after the  court rejected the appeal. What the reasoning was/is, or whence came the lack of thought or compassion( if we think of buildings as the anthropomorphological representations and manifestations of parts of our OWN inner beings, memories and desires, or attempts to cling onto our past and youth)I fail to know; other than the obvious adage that capitalism devours itself and need constant renewal.

What few people know, and for which there is little evidence on google images, is that behind an unlikely, more modern bland façade, also in the Lime Street block destined for obliteration:- is that there was a THIRD ABC cinema,which after a bathetic period, ending in 1960- wherein it became a porn cinema- the ABC Scala transformed into  the third jewel in the ABC’s crown of cinemas : the ABC Scala  https://decayetude.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/the-futureist-the-scala-and-the-past-the-inside-becomes-the-outside-spectral-psychogeographical-post-by-steven-benson/  {top two captures}; like the “Futurist” it, too, closed in 1982, as the larger ABC(“Forum) by Blacklers on the corner of Lime Street opposite the mainline station, was bastardised into three screens: remains of which can be seen here https://decayetude.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/biennial-2016-part-1-what-has-been-formerabc-cinema-lime-street-by-steven-benson/ . Whether I had, also, indeed, entered the portals of the Scala, as a teenager, was moot and clouded in the obscurity of time, the images being so scant, in that , behind its newer, ugly frontispiece, the Scala seemed, to me, to languish in a liminal area of non-memory, as well as in the annihilation soon to come; time’s remorseless trajectory.


Sad song of

Memory;as your


Hanging out,

Like a


For all to


No con-



Nothing but

Memories; and

Even they are


Because the



Broken them up into



Them, like the

Building itself.

We weep for you:
The Future

That has

Become the




R.I.P the ABC “Futurist” and “Scala” cinemas











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