DEMOLITION works on Liverpool's first cinema has begun.
After only a few short weeks of work, the top floor and facade — including the cartouche with the Regal Cinema sign — are already gone.
Local historian Judy Pack and former councillor Alfred Vella (both pictured) joined a chorus of residents who displayed their disappointment at council's decision to approve the demolition order of the Scott Street premises.
The demolition order was approved in 2008 and a development application to construct a nine-storey hotel with two levels of underground parking and retail stores is currently being assessed by the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel.
Mrs Pack said it was a disgrace that historic sites within Liverpool's 203-year-old city were now nothing more than target practise for the wrecking ball.
"Many long-time residents are disappointed that more was not done to protect the old Regal Building," she said.
"I went by the building the other day and the whole second floor facade and the Regal sign were gone.
"I feel the demolition order approved in 2008 should have been reassessed under the current council.
"As the city's historical society, we should have at least been consulted."
Liverpool was founded in 1810 by Governor Macquarie.
It is the first Macquarie town and the fourth to have been established in Australia.
Mrs Pack said it was history that brought tourists into the city and not high-rise hotels.
"If they are going to knock it down and put up yet another big, tall building, then council should make it a condition of consent that some of the facade is incorporated into the design of the new building."
Mr Vella said at the very least, a plaque should be mounted either on the new building or on the ground to recognise the site's significance.
Liverpool Council general manager Farooq Portelli said that would not happen.