New life for old cinema Dec 13 2006
By Deborah James, Liverpool Daily Post Staff
A SEARCH was yesterday launched for a developer to restore one of Liverpool's most cherished art deco landmarks to its former glory.
"Imaginative" bids are being invited to transform the former ABC cinema on Lime Street.
Regeneration agencies English Partnerships and Liverpool Vision say they are offering a "blank canvas" to find a new use for the Grade II listed picture-house.
Early indications from city planners are that it could be suitable for a wide variety of projects including a museum or education space, a concert or dance hall, a sporting venue, or a restaurant or bar.
It comes 18 months after a plan by Liverpool FC footballer Jamie Carragher and city businessman Paul Flanagan to turn the faded venue into a sports bar met resistance, when city leaders said they were considering it as a venue for 2008 Capital of Culture celebrations.
Last night the Liverpool Culture Company said it had decided in autumn 2005 not to take up the option, as the building was "not suitable".
English Partnerships said the problem was that national lottery funding was never secured for a dance company which wanted to use the ABC in 2008.
It means the doors are now open for any developers to put forward a fresh proposal - including City Life Projects which signed Carragher up to the sports bar idea.
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