|The Old Cinemas Of Sheffield
Photographs and Pictures
This Page Updated 3 June 2004
1. 1885 Moving outlines First Demonstrated by Louis Le Prince, Washington Heights USA
2. 1895 The first public viewing of moving pictures, Hotel
Scribe, Paris France
3. 1923 Musical sound with film first demonstrated by Dr Lee de Forest New York USA
4. 1926 Talking movies first demonstrated by Warner Bros. New York USA
5. 1928 First moving picture with sound shown " The Lights
Of New York "
In the year 1920, there were 46 cinemas, but the next two decades saw a slower amount of cinema growth, up until the peak in 1940, when 58 cinemas were open at once. At this point every district of Sheffield had at least one Cinema, many had two or three.
This notice on the right >>--->
Over the next five years, 1940 - 1945, world war 2 was raging, and Sheffield was bombed quite heavily, and lost many buildings, the cinema count went down to 56.
Nationally at this point in the late forties, there
were so many cinemas that 10% of the UK population could visit the Cinema
at the same time.
Of the many cinemas that Sheffield
has seen coming and going over the last century. There have been very large
ones like The Gaumont ( Formally The Regent ) in Barkers Pool, in the town
centre, which had a massive 2,300 seats and a truly massive wide screen.
And tiny ones like The High Green Picture Palace which had only 320.
Some didn't last long at all, The Olympia Electric Palace on Bramhall Lane, opened in September 1911 to show a film of a heavyweight championship fight, and closed only three weeks later! It reopened as a roller skating rink. I've no idea which part of Bramhall Lane it stood on .
Some of the biggest ones were lavishly decorated, the Gaumont had, check this out :-
In Sheffield, cinemas died very quickly between 1955 - 1970 when It became out of fashion to go to the flicks, and television became the entertainment medium for the masses. A few survived, nearly intact as Bingo Halls, Supermarkets and Snooker Halls. Many were left to rot as it was not economic to remain open, and others continued to ply their trade as minority, foreign or dirty film cinemas.
In 1925 there were 66 cinemas listed as operating in sheffield area ( Sheffield, Rotherham, Dronfield ) as Cinematograph Halls.
In 1948 there were 65 cinemas listed as operating in sheffield area ( Sheffield, Rotherham, Dronfield ) as Cinemas.
A B C cinema Angel Street
Classic Cinema Fitzalan Square
Darnall Picture Palace Staniforth Road
Essoldo Barnsley Road
The Gaumont Barker's Pool
Greystones Picture Palace Ecclesall Road
High Green Cinema Thompson Hill
Hillsbro' Park Cinema Middlewood Road
Manor Picture House City Road
Odeon Theatre Flat Street
Page Hall Cinema Idsworth Road
The Palace Union Street
The Pavillion Attercliffe Common
The Plaza Picture House Richmond Road
Rex Cinema Mansfield Road
Ritz Picture House Southey Green Road
Studio 7 Wicker
In the early 1980's, the main cinemas for seeing the regular films, were all in the town centre. They were as follows :-
Classic Cinema Fitzalan Square
The Gaumont Barker's Pool
Studio 7 Wicker
Non of them exist in 2000, they all fell in the second blow to the cinema - The Video Cassette. The ABC and Gaumont were very large and in the late 1980's were shut and demolished, the Classic was a smaller cinema and that burned down in a fire which took the cinema and an electrical shop next door, Cinema has entered the Multiplex age with the following :-
Odeon Cinema, Arundel Gate
UCI 10 Cinemas, Crystal Peaks
Virgin Cinemas, at Valley Centertainment, Broughton Lane
Warner Village Cinemas, at Meadowhall Shopping Centre
In 2007 the Abbeydale is undergoing a resergence as a cherished old building, showing occasional films, plays, events and concerts, The Showroom thrives as a famous multiscreen independant cinema and the commercial cinemas in sheffield are taken care of by the 3 main multiplexes :-
Odeon Cinema Arundel Gate
Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row
Vue Cinemas, at Meadowhall Shopping Centre
In the late 1980s a resurgence of cinema was underway
with the advent of the multiplex. People were now bored of watching their
VHS video films at home, and started to hanker for a big screen once again.
But they were interested in more choice, and what was on offer was the
multiplex. The old movie theatres with their frivolous frescos and niches
had gone and, the modern clean lines of the purpose built facility, with
five or seven smaller screens were here.
The Gaumont had been demolished in 1985 and replaced with the Odeon, which was an ultra - modern glass and steel monstrosity, with three screens. This remained open until 1994, and then remained unoccupied until now, where it is currently being redeveloped inside as a nightclub venue called Kingdom which is due to open in spring 2000.
Crystal Peaks was built, and the UCI Crystal Peaks, with it's ten screens, became extremely popular. You still see scruffy old car stickers on cars from about 1990, proudly declaring " did I See You At ICU ? ".
Meadowhall Shopping And Entertainment centre, built the shopping centre in 1989 - 1990, but the area earmarked for the Meadowhall version of Disney Land, between Meadowhall Way and Weedon Street is still lying empty. Within the shopping complex though, is the Warner Village Cinemas with 11 screens.
The Showroom, in pond street, opposite the bus station was a grotty cinema in the area beneath the Fiesta nightclub, and amidst the multi - story car park. This area was developed in the early seventies, but the showroom closed in 1992. It had spent many years as a seedy sex film cinema for the dirty mac brigade. It had three screens
Meanwhile in town, the ABC has been pulled down, and the Anvil has turned into a Curry House, and the final twist to townside cinematics is the Odeon on the old Gaumont site closed down.
Today In Sheffield
The old Fiesta nightclub, after a few years as a
casino, opened as the Odeon 7 cinema, Arundel Gate. It had 7 screens.
Then they took over the Fiesta or Showroom cinema in the basement, around
1993 which was accessible from the Pond Street side, at the top of a concrete
spiral staircase, and escalator which was also the back entrance to the
multi - story car park, and was strewn with litter and crisp packets.
With the basement cinema in hand the Odeon now has 10 screens. The foyer area has a soft drinks and snacks counter, where you can purchase coke and popcorn, and loads of other stuff. There's a ticket office, next to some posters with all the current films, which are on offer. And there's a bar area with a pool table.
The Showroom cinema on Paternoster Row, shows special
interest films, carrying on where the Anvil left off. It has 4 screens,
and shows independent, art house and foreign language films in preference
to hollywood blockbusters.
The Smallest screen, 1 has 83 seats, 2 has 110 seats, 3 has 178 seats and screen 4, 282 seats. It opened in 1995 in the old Kennings building, in 1998 the third and fourth screens opened and the Showroom became the Largest Independent Cinema outside London.
The old Sheaf Market Hall is about to be redeveloped as a warner village, 12 screen multiplex cinema, with over 2000 seats!
Virgin Megaplex, is a multiplex cinema with one massive screen in Don Valley. It has 20 Screens.
The Warner Village Cinema, at the Oasis, Meadowhall, has plenty of films to see on it's 11 Screens.
The UCI Cinema complex at Crystal Peeks has 11 Screens and all the latest releases.
If all these cinemas remain open at once then there will be 68 Screens, that's the most screens ever in the sheffield area.
Showroom - www.showroom.org.uk
Warner Village Cinemas - www.warnervillage.co.uk
Virgin Cinemas www.virgin.net/cinema/filmfinder/
U. C. I. Cinemas www.uci-cinemas.co.uk/uci.html
Cinema Location Chart ] [
Cinematic Jargon Explanation Section ]
[ Bibliography ]
Thanks To Pauline T, Mark S, Brian Brady in Canada,
Joanne & Scott, Ade K and Foxi Lady
For Help With This Section
The Old Cinemas Of Sheffield
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