Opened 16 September 1912 the ‘Lime Street Picture House’ was a very upmarket city centre cinema, with a Georgian styled facade & a French Renaissance interior. The grand entrance foyer had a black & white square tiled floor and the walls were of Sicilian marble. It housed a luxurious cafe on the 1st floor and the auditorium was designed to have the effect of a live theatre with an abundance of architectural features, embellished by plaster mouldings. It provided seating for 1029 patrons. The cinema also boasted a full orchestra to accompany the silent films.
On 14 August 1916, it was renamed ‘City Picture House’ due to another cinema opening in Clayton Square called ‘Liverpool Picture House’. In October 1920 a new company was formed ‘Futurist (Liverpool) LTD’ to purchase the cinema and the two shops for £167,000.
The era of silent films ended in 1929 at the Futurist and new ‘Western Electric Talking Equipment’ was installed. By the 1930s cinemas were popping up everywhere which affected The Futurist’s business and resulted in the cinema showing second runs of leading films.