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The CINEMA HOUSE in Barkers Pool, Sheffield City Centre


Guest tsavo
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I’ve never seen any interior photos in the City Library’s collection?

As I recall, there was nothing at all luxurious about the Cinema House? It was quite small.

The thing I remember most about it was the smell of coffee and food from the small Cafe it had.

If you look at the photos above,the screen was at the right hand end of the building,where you entered. 

The circle was quite small too.

The auditorium was very narrow and pretty useless for the later CinemaScope and other Wide-Screen processes.

Ironically,it did get to show first,exclusive and lengthy runs of many of these movies. Such as: Gigi,An Affair to Remember,High Society,The Girl Can’t Help It,War & Peace,etc.

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Hmmm. Around the time it first opened in May 1913 the interior is described to have been 'Constructed at great cost, and decorated in the most artistic fashion'.

It's the 'artistic fashion' bit I'm attempting to investigate. Trying to see if anything exists or remained of that original interior but so far no luck.

Tried contacting Sheffield Archives and Museums, not sure where else to search!

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I think you would need to find relatives of the original Owners/Manager?

The library may be able to furnish you with these facts.

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Another great looking building lost to time. Sheffield has had so many magnificent buildings over the years. Sad to see them gone

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Screenshot 2020-06-07 at 11.45.52.jpg

The Cinema House in Fargate (the part that is now Barkers Pool) was opened on 6th May 1913. Picture was taken in 1932.

Passing through the entrance vestibule where the pay boxes were, you entered into a hall designed in Jacobean style which was a waiting area with settees and chairs. A grand double staircase in white and green marble led up to the first floor lounge area which was decorated in shades of blue and pink with tapestries on the wall. This also served as a tea room.

The auditorium, which was entered at the screen end, seated 800 and continued the Jacobean theme. Walls were panelled in oak and huge hunting scene tapestry panels hung from the ceiling. The balcony fronts and ceiling were in embossed fibrous plaster and above the proscenium arch was a mural depicting an Elizabethan seascape. Dark blue drapes covered the screen with blue seating and carpets. The projection box was located beneath the balcony. A twelve piece orchestra played during the silent film era, then sound was installed in February 1930, one of the last Sheffield cinemas to show ‘talkies’.

The Cinema House narrowly escaped damage in 1940 when a bomb exploded further up Barkers Pool (doing damage to the outer walls of the Regent/Gaumont which stood virtually across the road by this time).

In 1959 the cinema owners sold the building in a property deal with the final show on 12th August 1961 with John Wayne in “The Horse Soldiers” and Burt Lancaster in “The Devil’s Disciple”. The Cinema House was then demolished later in the year with a new development of offices and shops rising up on the site.

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