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The Star Cinema


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Guest tsavo

The Star Cinema opened in 1929 and closed, as a cinema, in 1962. It was then opened for bingo which was to last for 12 years. This was the first cinema I worked in, around 1959, and the Chief Projectionist was Tony O'nions. It was the Star that hosted the Rag Week film midnight matinee on Rag Night. Sheer chaos as you can imaging but the management were quite happy to use the many toilet rolls that were streamed about during the show. Haven't a clue what film was shown, in fact we lost sight of the screen due to ice cream wrappers being stuck to the projection room viewing ports very early on.

One winter night, I stood with the manager, Phil Bruin, watching the snow fall on Ecclesall Rd. No traffic passed in 20 minutes and it looked as though we could close as we had no patrons for the evening show. We'd just about decided on an early night when a lone figure appeared from Hanover St and walked in to buy a stalls ticket. At the time I don't mind admitting I was a little miffed at being done out of an early night but on reflection he probably came to the one place where he could be warm and entertained. We played the entire show for just one person.

Picture from Picture Sheffield

http://www.picturesheffield.com/s02709

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  • 1 year later...
ukelele lady

I started going to the Star with my friends, it must have been just before it closed. We discovered if you went into the corner fire exit door [ always open ] the ladies toilets were there, at first we just went in to adjust our boufant hairdo

on a windy night. Then one night the usherette came in and told us to keep the noise down and go and sit back in our seats.

Having no ticket and no previous seat we found ourselves some comfortable seats and sat and watched the film through

to the end. Cheap night. lol

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The Star Picture House, Ecclesall Rd. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/s02709

The Star opened just two days before Christmas, on the 23rd December, 1915.

With seating for around 1000 including the balcony, it was an ornate building, with an ornamental dome and Grecian urns lining the roof parapet.

Until 1929 the proprietors were Sheffield Premier Pictures whose directors had links with both the Abbeydale and the Central Picture House. These were severed during restructuring at this time. A bomb dropped during the first night of the blitz, severely damaged the projection room, despite failing to explode. The cinema remained closed for essential repairs, including the removal of the ornamental dome, until October 1941 and it would be another fourteen years before these were finally completed. Projection equipment was Kalee Eleven projectors and Peerless Magna arc lamps. The Magna's were replaced by BTH Xenon arc lamps in 1959.

The Star had one claim to fame, it hosted the student's Rag Day Midnight Matinee. Enough toilet rolls were collected to keep the loo's supplied for months.

Star Associated Holdings took over in 1955. In 1962, Bingo was first presented at the Star and this proved so successful that film performances were dropped on the 17th January 1962.

Bingo continued until 1984

Info: Sheffield Cinemas /Tsavo

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