Edge Lane’s lost cinema, where a couple fell in love and the mother went into labor

A former Cineworld venue that brought the latest films to Liverpool for over two decades saw film lovers “sad to see it go”.

Many will remember the former Cineworld Avenue in Edge Lane Retail Park, which first opened in 1991 as an eight-screen MGM as a project of the Cineplex Odeon. By 1995 it was renamed Virgin and later UGC in 1999.

Many memories were made in cinema during his different lives. One was on July 15, 1999, when lines were forming at Virgin’s multiscreen as early as 8am and bosses canceled films on four of their screens to accommodate The Phantom Menace.

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One of the first to see the film was Wigan Star Wars fan Nick Wiswell pictured above. At the time, it was said that he had “waited 17 years for this moment”.

The UGC later became Cineworld in 2005 – the final chapter of the building’s life. It has attracted movie lovers of all ages for a decade to catch the latest releases, meet first dates or enjoy a Tango Iceblast.

Cineworld at Edge Lane, Liverpool, 2016

As you entered through the double doors you were immediately taken to the ticket office. Another door opened onto the main foyer, where visitors could purchase popcorn, pic’n’mix, drinks and other snacks before stepping onto one of the cinema screens.

So many films were shown during the decade and it was a place to celebrate all occasions from birthday parties to anniversaries. For young people from the area, it was probably the first cinema that they visited or visited alone without their parents.

But in April 2016, moviegoers heard that Liverpool’s Edge Lane cinema was closing in three months. At the time, Cineworld said they would be booted out of the retail park building once the lease expired, and emailed registered cinema members the news.

St Patrick's Day starts early for Speke's Maria Bradley (left) and Nancy Kelsall as they take part in the St Patrick's Day Parade which started from the Irish Centre.  Liverpool.  March 16, 1997

It said: “We are saddened to share the news that your local Cineworld will be closing soon. After serving the film lovers of Liverpool for a decade the landlord gave us our building.

“But don’t worry, we’ll continue showing the latest films and blockbusters until cinemas close on July 14, 2016.”

At the time, Sharon Rusk, general manager of the Edge Lane cinema, said: “We have already started a consultation period of at least 30 days with the 35 cinema staff, which will continue after the cinema closes. We will work with our associates during their consulting time to identify vacancies and new opportunities within our organization. “

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Edge Lane Cineworld is closing on July 14, 2016
The Edge Lane Cineworld closing message on July 14, 2016

Until July 2016,Edge Lane Cineworld credits were rolling – and moviegoers were disappointed. The closure left Liverpool without Cineworld for the first time in 25 years, although a new one was planned for Speke in late 2018.

The cinema’s Facebook page was flooded with loving comments after it shared a picture of the cinema with a sign above its doors that read ‘Goodbye from Liverpool and thank you 1991-2016’. And it triggered a burst of memories in dozens of people.

At the time, Spike Dickens wrote: “Lots of happy memories there. Three years ago I fell in love with a girl who loved movies, we both got unlimited tickets and went once or twice a week for the next three years. Within that time we had had a child, got engaged, had all sorts of ups and downs, but always made time for our favorite cinema.

What memories do you have of Cineworld Edge Lane? Let us know in the comment section below.

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The last day of Cineworld Edge Lane was Thursday 14th July 2016. The day’s screenings included Central Intelligence, Independence Day, Now You See Me 2 and Ghostbusters.

ECHO readers once shared their fond memories of the cinema. Margie Hunter and Adam Davies both said they were “sad it’s over”.

Karen Griffiths wrote: “I remember watching Dumb & Dumber with my twin sister, we laughed so much I went into labor early. Also, I took the kids to see their favorite movies, Babe, Lion King and many more.

And Chris Wagg wrote: “When I first came here I was about 12/13, I went to see RobinHood Prince of Thieves. I remember enjoying the movie for a minute and then telling myself I need some air and I’m going to be sick, next I know I’m in the bathroom because I passed out in the foyer and I was in the toilet handed over. I still haven’t seen the ending!

What do you miss about the past now? Sights, lost places or maybe the way of life. Take a look at our nostalgia poll

In recent years, the New Liverpool Shopping Park has developed significantly. It has welcomed big brands like M&S, H&M, Greggs and Chiquito. As for Cineworld, a new 11 screen cinema opened in Speke’s New Mersey Retail Park in the summer of 2018, along with a range of restaurants including Nandos and Wagamamas

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