A DISUSED Liverpool art deco cinema could be restored to its former glory.
Owners of the Gaumont estimate it will cost ?750,000 to restore and refurbish the Dingle landmark.
Yobs who broke into the building badly damaged the interior decoration.
George Koultis, who is driving the project on behalf of owner Michelle Stannard, said the restored building would be thrown open to the public and used as a theatre, cinema, music and community venue.
Mr Koultis said: ?We want to get this place back open. If it was full and busy, we could employ as many as 44 people ? ushers and front of house, kitchen and bar staff and security.
?The plan would be to put on a Saturday and Sunday morning cinema club for children, and have bingo, plays, bands, and a hall for hire. We?re all trying to work together to pick the area up.
?Unfortunately, kids got in and vandalised all the ornate plasterwork.
?They hit the ceiling with poles and smashed the glass. ?We?d just finished plastering everywhere when it happened ? they came and destroyed everything. It?s very disheartening.
?What we can try and do is enough work to make it safe and perhaps put on performances to help raise the money for the rest of the work. ?We?d also like to try and get some unwanted cinema seating, or see if skilled craftsmen can help out.?
The 1,500-seat Gaumont was designed by WE Trent, the chief architect for the Gaumont-British group, with a specific curved frontage to follow the shape of the corner of Park Road and Dingle Lane.
It was built on the site of the old Dingle Picturedrome and opened in March, 1937, with what was said to be the first cinema in Britain to have the Gaumont ?projectomatic? system, which automatically changed the reels during projection of films, as well as controlling the houselights and stage curtains.
The cinema also boasted an impressive Wurlitzer organ which is currently in a Manchester museum.
Cliff Richard and The Shadows played there in 1961.
In the 1960s, the building, which is not listed, was turned into a bingo hall..
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