Terminus – Liverpool Overhead Railway Film

TERMINUS: George’s Dock Building, Pier Head : 28 October – 2 November 2008

Apart from those trees the Mersey Tunnel / George’s Dock building makes an ideal screen. You can view this interesting film from Beetham Plaza above the Strand then before hypothermia sets in you can pop into Etsu restaurant for some lovely authentic Japanese grub.

The film is incredibly smooth considering it was shot from a sort of cherry-picker set to the height of the old railway, it really gives a good feel of what it would be like if the track was still there.
Its running from dawn till dusk until Sunday 2 November 2008.

In 1897 the pioneering Lumiere brothers famously filmed the world’s first tracking shot to capture the magic of the world’s first electric overhead railway – the Liverpool Overhead Railway (LOR).

Now 51 years after the LOR was demolished, the public are being invited to enjoy the ride one more time thanks to an equally technologically audacious new film.

Terminus is a newly commissioned cinematic reconstruction of the entire Liverpool dock complex as could be witnessed from a journey on what was affectionately known as ‘The Dockers Umbrella’ from 1893-1957.


Created by local artist Ben Parry the hour long film is made up of a single, real time tracking shot at an elevation of 8m (the height of LOR), taking the viewer along the length of the docks from Wapping Dock into Seaforth container port at the mouth of the River Mersey. The film is split into two journeys from South to North, day to night, back and forth with only a vague sense of beginning or end.

Referencing the birth of cinema and Lumiere’s film from the LOR in 1897, the work has been created using the latest in cinema technology employed in Hollywood action films with the support of the UK’s leading new media organisation FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology).

The film will be projected from dusk until dawn onto the east wall of George’s Dock Building at Pier Head between October 28 – November 2, with the support of Merseytravel. The spectacular projection will been seen by well over 500,000 people on foot and by car as they travel through the iconic waterfront landscape.

The commission has been part-funded by Liverpool Culture Company under the Cities on the Edge Programme, with Jump Ship Rat and the Arts Council England North West.