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The Palace Union Street

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tsavo    1

The Palace Union Street was the first Sheffield cinema designed for that purpose. All earlier ones were mainly converted theatres or music halls. It was also the first to be equipped with magnetic stereo sound and Cinemascope. It closed in 1966.

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RichardB    1

Interior

http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s08069

PictureSheffield details :

Auditorium at The Sheffield Picture Palace, Union Street, referred to in later directories as The Palace. The architects were Benton & Roberts & owned by Sheffield Picture Palace Ltd. Opened 1st August 1910. Closed 31st October, 1964 & later demolished

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The Palace Union Street was the first Sheffield cinema designed for that purpose. All earlier ones were mainly converted theatres or music halls. It was also the first to be equipped with magnetic stereo sound and Cinemascope. It closed in 1966.

An interesting fact which might provoke more discussion is that "The Robe", a film which I believe was the first made in Cinemascope (it starred Richard Burton, Jean Simmons and Michael Rennie), ran for eight weeks at the Palace Theatre, Union Street, starting on Monday Feb 15th 1954 and ending on April 10th 1954. Does anyone know of a longer run by a film anywhere in Sheffield?

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tsavo    1

Can't quote any figures, but the later blockbusters like The Sound of Music and South Pacific (at The Odeon) must beat The Robe. However if you're asking about 35mm CinemaScope productions (as opposed to 70mm) then the answer may well be it was a record.

Anyone know for sure?

Full background on The Sheffield Palace Union St here. (please scroll down)

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/i...40&start=40

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Can't quote any figures, but the later blockbusters like The Sound of Music and South Pacific (at The Odeon) must beat The Robe. However if you're asking about 35mm CinemaScope productions (as opposed to 70mm) then the answer may well be it was a record.

Anyone know for sure?

I think the overall record is the one to seek. You may be right re South Pacific and The Sound of Music, but, of course, they were much later than The Robe. What is interesting when you look back is that a cinema like the Palace, Union Street, was (apparently) ahead of the other local cinemas in being able to screen The Robe first. Today, I must confess that when I look back I tend to think of the Palace as a theatre that was a little bit off the beaten track --even though it was across the road from the Empire and not far from the Hippodrome. Mind you, I do remember it was rather a good cinema, and well-built.

Again, judged by modern standards, it might seem remarkable that a film like The Robe should enjoy such a long run.

Anyhow, if anyone can add to the dialogue by offering notes about the runs enjoyed by films like South Pacific and The Sound of Music, that would be great.

It would be interesting to know which film had the longest run at each of the major cinemas...but getting that answered might be asking too much!

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tsavo    1

Old Canny Street Kid' Mar 24 2009

What is interesting when you look back is that a cinema like the Palace, Union Street, was (apparently) ahead of the other local cinemas in being able to screen The Robe first.

I think the reason the Palace was first with CinemaScope in Sheffield, may have had something to do with the Rank Organisation's dispute with 20th Century Fox.

When Scope was first introduced, great play was made of the fact that they had magnetic soundtracks, as opposed to the more conventional optical system. Fox insisted that to protect this magnetic soundtrack from being erased (or degraded) by the influence of ferrous metalled equipment, special film spools made of aluminium were inststed upon as were film jointers and other bits of equipment. Over time, this turned out not to be the problem they had first thought. The main problems were what Fox called the 'Miracle Mirror' screens, they insisted be installed. They were, frankly, rubbish. All screens are made of a series of verticaly joined strips, something very obvious on the MM screens where these joints were plain for all to see. Most screens were perforated (to allow the sound through) and these perforations were not simply holes, the were cut to a specific angle. In the MM screens, some of these panels were installed upside down, with a huge reflective light loss. To the audience, they appeared as darker strips alongside brighter ones. Eventually these were replaced by the much superior British Pearlux screens.

One historical note, the Scope process was invented by a Frenchman and Rank's had the option to take this up, but failed to do so in time. Fox were happy to take up the option in their place.

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Old Canny Street Kid' Mar 24 2009

What is interesting when you look back is that a cinema like the Palace, Union Street, was (apparently) ahead of the other local cinemas in being able to screen The Robe first.

I think the reason the Palace was first with CinemaScope in Sheffield, may have had something to do with the Rank Organisation's dispute with 20th Century Fox.

When Scope was first introduced, great play was made of the fact that they had magnetic soundtracks, as opposed to the more conventional optical system. Fox insisted that to protect this magnetic soundtrack from being erased (or degraded) by the influence of ferrous metalled equipment, special film spools made of aluminium were inststed upon as were film jointers and other bits of equipment. Over time, this turned out not to be the problem they had first thought. The main problems were what Fox called the 'Miracle Mirror' screens, they insisted be installed. They were, frankly, rubbish. All screens are made of a series of verticaly joined strips, something very obvious on the MM screens where these joints were plain for all to see. Most screens were perforated (to allow the sound through) and these perforations were not simply holes, the were cut so a specific angle. In the MM screens, some of these panels were installed upside down, with a huge reflective light loss. To the audience, they appeared as darker strips alongside brighter ones. Eventually these were replaced by the much superior British Pearlux screens.

One historical note, the Scope process was invented by a Frenchman and Rank's had the option to take this up, but failed to do so in time. Fox were happy to take up the option in their place.

That's fascinating tsavo, and, for all historians, an example of what you might call the often-forgotten background to stories from the past. Things often happen for a reason, and, many years later, only the bare facts survive. The people who were around at the time could fill in a lot of gaps, but when they have gone they take a lot of knowledge with them. That is why it helps to put as much on record as possible on everything --and this is why Sheffield History serves a very important purpose!

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tsavo    1

There's also the fact that the Gaumont was the top cinema in Sheffield at the time. (1953) There was no Odeon or ABC. In the city centre, just the Gaumont, Palace, Cinema House and the Hippodrome. Can't include the Classic as it was the News Theatre at this time.

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abcman    0

I think the overall record is the one to seek. You may be right re South Pacific and The Sound of Music, but, of course, they were much later than The Robe. What is interesting when you look back is that a cinema like the Palace, Union Street, was (apparently) ahead of the other local cinemas in being able to screen The Robe first. Today, I must confess that when I look back I tend to think of the Palace as a theatre that was a little bit off the beaten track --even though it was across the road from the Empire and not far from the Hippodrome. Mind you, I do remember it was rather a good cinema, and well-built.

Again, judged by modern standards, it might seem remarkable that a film like The Robe should enjoy such a long run.

Anyhow, if anyone can add to the dialogue by offering notes about the runs enjoyed by films like South Pacific and The Sound of Music, that would be great.

It would be interesting to know which film had the longest run at each of the major cinemas...but getting that answered might be asking too much!

'South Pacific' ran at the Flat Street Odeon for 6 months.'The Sound Of Music' ran at the odeon from begining of October 1965 to the middle of February 1967. The remastered 70mm version of 'Gone With The Wind' ran at the ABC Cinema Angel Street for 13 weeks in 1968/69. 'Jaws' ran at the ABC for nearly six months, but much of that run was in the small 94 seater ABC 2.

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abcman    0

'South Pacific' ran at the Flat Street Odeon for 6 months.'The Sound Of Music' ran at the odeon from begining of October 1965 to the middle of February 1967. The remastered 70mm version of 'Gone With The Wind' ran at the ABC Cinema Angel Street for 13 weeks in 1968/69. 'Jaws' ran at the ABC for nearly six months, but much of that run was in the small 94 seater ABC 2.

Another interesting fact.In October 1956 'The King And I' could be seen on both sides of a Sheffield street.At the Palace Cinema, Union Street the film with Yul Brynner & Deborah Kerr was being screened, while across the road at the mighty Moss Empire Theatre the full Drury Lane Production was being staged.What a treat!

Photo of the Palace Union Street.

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MINIMO    0

This is an old thread but I wonder if I might be allowed to add a little to it. I and my siblings are each writing the story of our life, which is bringing up long forgotten memories. I seem to remember my mum going to see the singer Josef Locke at The Palace Union St. This would have been sometime between 1954 and 1958.

I wonder if anyone can confirm if this might have been so?

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Athy    1
On ‎24‎/‎03‎/‎2009 at 4:29 PM, tsavo said:

There's also the fact that the Gaumont was the top cinema in Sheffield at the time. (1953) There was no Odeon or ABC. In the city centre, just the Gaumont, Palace, Cinema House and the Hippodrome. Can't include the Classic as it was the News Theatre at this time.

Now you have jogged my memory: I recall the News Theatre (in Fitzalan Square?) closing down and re-opening as the classic - perhaps about 1961? The Classic was, at least initially, devoted to showing great films from the past, hence its name I suppose.

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S24    0
On 2 January 2016 at 0:03 PM, MINIMO said:

This is an old thread but I wonder if I might be allowed to add a little to it. I and my siblings are each writing the story of our life, which is bringing up long forgotten memories. I seem to remember my mum going to see the singer Josef Locke at The Palace Union St. This would have been sometime between 1954 and 1958.

I wonder if anyone can confirm if this might have been so?

When I retired, I made a list of all the movies that played the City Centre cinemas, from 1948 to 1971. I just checked The Palace for you and could find no reference for Josef Locke. It’s highly unlikely that he would have appeared there as it was built as a cinema, and had no theatrical facilities. She may have been thinking of the Empire Theatre, which was across the road in Charles Street?

This would be the most likely place for artists like him to appear as it was the Variety theatre.

If you would like to read my post on Sheffield’s 50 longest running films, you can find it here....

 http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/index.php?/topic/6091-films-with-longest-runs-in-sheffield/&do=findComment&comment=66376

 

 

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S24    0
On 6 January 2016 at 9:59 AM, Athy said:

Now you have jogged my memory: I recall the News Theatre (in Fitzalan Square?) closing down and re-opening as the classic - perhaps about 1961? The Classic was, at least initially, devoted to showing great films from the past, hence its name I suppose.

The News Theatre closed towards the end of 1961. It re-opened as The Classic on January 14th, 1962.

It’s first classic film was “The Apartment”, followed by “The Robe”, “Roman Holiday”, “Withering Heights” and “The Wages of Fear”.

If you would like to read my post on Sheffield’s 50 longest running films, you can find it here ......

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/index.php?/topic/6091-films-with-longest-runs-in-sheffield/&do=findComment&comment=66376

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Athy    1

Thank you S24, yes, interesting reading. Many of the films are the ones which would be expected, but an exception is 'Song Of Norway; I don't think I have ever heard of it!

I guess that when the films had finished their city centre runs, they would trickle down to the suburban venues. I clearly remember seeing Guns Of Navarone, and I clearly remember that I went with another lad who would become a lifelong friend; but he and I only became friends about the end of September 1961, after finding ourselves in the same form at King Ted's, so we would have seen the film after its end date which you cited. My guess is the Rex.

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S24    0

“Song of Norway” IS a surprising entry in the longest running films in Sheffield list, I agree. I never fancied it at the time and never went to see it. I’ve seen bits of it on TV since, but, it’s been a while since it was on.

It had been a hit show on Broadway and in London in the 1950’s. Robert Wright & Chett Forrest, who had had an earlier big hit with “Kismet”, adapted from the music of Borodin, decided to chance their arm again, this time using Edvard Grieg’s music. It was a hit, but not as successful as “Kismet”. Ironically, the movie version of “Song Of Norway” was ten times a bigger hit on screen than “Kismet” was!

Song of Norway (1970).jpg

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On ‎02‎/‎01‎/‎2016 at 0:03 PM, MINIMO said:

This is an old thread but I wonder if I might be allowed to add a little to it. I and my siblings are each writing the story of our life, which is bringing up long forgotten memories. I seem to remember my mum going to see the singer Josef Locke at The Palace Union St. This would have been sometime between 1954 and 1958.

I wonder if anyone can confirm if this might have been so?

Could Joseph Locke have been appearing at the Empire as I know if you wanted to be seated up in " the Gods " the queue would be waiting on Union Street.

I loved Joseph Locke, one of my favourites.

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S24    0
On 15 January 2016 at 10:15 AM, Athy said:

Thank you S24, yes, interesting reading. Many of the films are the ones which would be expected, but an exception is 'Song Of Norway; I don't think I have ever heard of it!

I guess that when the films had finished their city centre runs, they would trickle down to the suburban venues. I clearly remember seeing Guns Of Navarone, and I clearly remember that I went with another lad who would become a lifelong friend; but he and I only became friends about the end of September 1961, after finding ourselves in the same form at King Ted's, so we would have seen the film after its end date which you cited. My guess is the Rex.

I don’t have records for The Rex to hand, but I did check what I do have.

After playing it’s exclusive, Road Show season at the Odeon in 1961,“The Guns of Navarone” was back at the Gaumont for a week - 8th to 14th April, 1962. This would have been the start of it’s General Release and it would have reached the locals, two, or three weeks after this. Is that when you saw it?

King Ted’s eh?..... I was a Red Cap.

 

 

lf.jpg

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S24    0
6 hours ago, ukelele lady said:

Could Joseph Locke have been appearing at the Empire as I know if you wanted to be seated up in " the Gods " the queue would be waiting on Union Street.

I loved Joseph Locke, one of my favourites.

Quite possibly? ... I believe the Stage Door was in Union Street too ?

 

today empire.jpg

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Athy    1

Red cap? Was that Firth Park?

Yes, 1962 sounds right. It may have been the Gaumont not the REx. I remember that we were pleased to see that James Darren (a U.S. pop singer who had just had a minor hit record) was acting in it, as we weren't aware that pop singers had any talents apart from singing pop songs!

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S24    0

Yes. it was Firth Park. I could have gone to King Ted’s but, my cousins were at Firth Park so, I was talked into going there. Wish I hadn’t!

James Darren made quite a few films at that time, The “Gidget” films,etc.“Guns of Navarone” being the best. By the way, he’ll be 80 in June !

John Wayne cottoned on to the fact that Pop Singers/Teenage Heartthrobs could add quite a lot to the box-office takings after Ricky Nelson appeared with him in “Rio Bravo” in 1959. He signed  Fabian for “North to Alaska” and Frankie Avalon for “The Alamo” in 1960. James Stewart also had Fabian in three of his films in the 60’s.

There was another Pop singer that didn’t do too badly in films either. what was his name?....erm.... I think it was Elvis something or other?

Whatever happened to him ? :)

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Athy    1

Thanks for the info, S. I would question one of your assertions: having seen some of them, I reckon that Elvis did very badly indeed in some of his films!

Micky Dolenz, of course, did it arse-about-face, moving from acting in Circus Boy to pop singing with The Monkees.

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S24    0

I didn’t say they were all good. I like the ones up to “Blue Hawaii” plus “Viva Las Vegas” and ‘Follow that Dream”. The others are mostly execrable !

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willybite    0

hiya i can go back to the union as we called it,it had an heating pipe on one of the rows it was saught after in winter,i remember during the war next door was a british  home stores when you went inside the entrance counters on both sides then a shorrt flight of stairs to the main shop, also the landsdown had woolworths at the same time, and redgates was at the b ottom of eccleshall rd,

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On 3/24/2009 at 11:43, Old Canny Street Kid said:

 

 

An interesting fact which might provoke more discussion is that "The Robe", a film which I believe was the first made in Cinemascope (it starred Richard Burton, Jean Simmons and Michael Rennie), ran for eight weeks at the Palace Theatre, Union Street, starting on Monday Feb 15th 1954 and ending on April 10th 1954. Does anyone know of a longer run by a film anywhere in Sheffield?

I saw that film at that very cinema. My contender for longest run would be ''Sound Of Music'' at the Odean Cinema on corner of Flat Street and Norfolk Street, now a bingo place. I think it was on for about two years then it closed down after that.

 

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