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Sheffield History

The Phoenix Cinema / Phoenix Theatre

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Sheffield History

THE PHOENIX CINEMA/THEATRE - HILLSBOROUGH

LOCATION

Opposite Hillsborough Barracks - where Maplins now stands

Photograph source: In Memory of Sheffield's Cinema's by Richard Ward

INFO

Opened - 25th March 1911

Closed - 10th September 1960

The cinema was named after the owners of the Cinema, and when it opened it was intended as a cinema as well as a variety theatre seating around 640 including the balcony, the stage was extended from the original 12ft to 22ft some after opening.

From 1925 the hall became a theatre mainly revues with some saturday film matinee's for children.

It was reopened as a cinema on the 7th August 1933 after new projectors and sound equipment was installed.

The first manager was Harold Phoenix who died in 1918 in the influenza outbreak, and brother Cecil then took over managing the place until 1956

Hillsbro kinema took it over in 56.

It showed movies such as Blackboard Jungle, and Jerry Lee Lewis movies. This cinema was just one of many in the Hillsborough/Wadsley Bridge area and believe it or not there was a policeman who (as part of his regular duties) used to visit them all looking for underage cinema goers !

On one occasion him and his sergeant visited Hillsboro' park cinema.The film that was on was "Nudes of the World " an X rated film.Inside the cinema they found a young lad who was 15 years old watching the film.

After interviewing him ,the manager and the cashier the final result was the cashier got fined in court 7/6d (371/2 p) and a warning.

The petrol station (where Maplins is now) replaced the Phoenix cinema, which must have closed in the 1960s.

The interior decor was green walls with an ivory ceiling and plasterwork executed in several shades, not dissimilar to that in The Regent, Barker's Pool.

The Phoenix was wired for the new and highly sophisticated for the day, Western Electric Sound System. Externally it was built in red brick with a stucco facade above. The frontage was flat with ornamental arches at either side above the exit doors.

The final presentation was The Trials of Oscar Wilde.

PICTURES

We are desperate for pictures of this place, or an idea of what it looked like - can you help ?

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Guest tsavo

Think I just may have tracked down a Picture. I remember seeing a before and after picturs showing the Maplin store.

Must be in the Old Sheffield books back in the UK. Will ring my mother later today and ask her to check. If so will get them emailed across.

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Sheffield History

You would make my day if you did - I'm pulling my hair out trying to track one down !

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Guest tsavo

The hunt is on, but as my mother is 87, it may take a little while.

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Sheffield History

I am pinning my LIFE on you succeeding..

(no pressure)

lol

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Sheffield History

Found an old picture

It's a nightmare to renovate though - been working on it with Photoshop and can't get it anywhere near good enough

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Guest tsavo

Where on earth did you find that?

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Guest tsavo

Just goes to show, there are still some good guys about!

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Guest J R Wrigley

I too have searched without success for a photo of the Phoenix.

My grandparents lived in the block of houses facing the Barracks until 1940. I remember my father talking of one of the acts - a memory man who was tested with questions from the audience. One wag asked who rode the winner of the Waterloo cup in a certain year (a greyhound race of course.

I frequently visited the cinema in my youth and remember that the seats at the end of each row were doubles with no arm rest between - ideal for couting couples.

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Guest tsavo

Makes me blush just thinking about the old passion seats!

Welcome to the site, JR.

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deejayone

Welcome JR. Nice to see you on the site.

A bit of a local hero - I've got many of your brilliant books.

Be good to see you on the site often if you get chance!

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Guest broncolives

Used to go every saturday night "wi me mam" row E can't remember seat nunbers but next to centre aisle left had side.

treat o't week it werrrr

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Guest echo

I too have searched without success for a photo of the Phoenix.

My grandparents lived in the block of houses facing the Barracks until 1940. I remember my father talking of one of the acts - a memory man who was tested with questions from the audience. One wag asked who rode the winner of the Waterloo cup in a certain year (a greyhound race of course.

I frequently visited the cinema in my youth and remember that the seats at the end of each row were doubles with no arm rest between - ideal for couting couples.

I have a book or two of yours and twenty years ago I was your postman. Won't say where. Robinson's lived next door.

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Guest tsavo

The Pheonix Theatre, Langsett Rd, -

Opened in March of 1911, the Pheonix is one of three theatres in Sheffield built as cinemas, but with the ability to produce stage based variety and revue programmes. Seating was around 640 including the balcony. The original stage was extended from twelve to twenty two feet in the first few years.

The manager from the opening date was Harold Pheonix, an associate of Jasper Redfern of the Central Hall. The unfortunate Harold did not survive the flu outbreak of 1918 and was succeeded by his brother, Cecil. From 1925, the Pheonix became a theatre, staging mainly revue type productions, though some Saturday afternoon film programmes for children were screened. It reopened as a cinema in August of 1933 following the installation of new projectors and sound equipment. Stage performances ceased at this time and the Pheonix continued as a cinema. In 1956 it was sold to the proprietors of the Hilsborough Kinema and finally closed for business on the 10th of September, 1960

Info: Sheffield Cinemas.

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RichardB

The Pheonix Theatre, Langsett Rd, -

Opened in March of 1911, the Pheonix is one of three theatres in Sheffield built as cinemas, but with the ability to produce stage based variety and revue programmes. Seating was around 640 including the balcony. The original stage was extended from twelve to twenty two feet in the first few years.

The manager from the opening date was Harold Pheonix, an associate of Jasper Redfern of the Central Hall. The unfortunate Harold did not survive the flu outbreak of 1918 and was succeeded by his brother, Cecil. From 1925, the Pheonix became a theatre, staging mainly revue type productions, though some Saturday afternoon film programmes for children were screened. It reopened as a cinema in August of 1933 following the installation of new projectors and sound equipment. Stage performances ceased at this time and the Pheonix continued as a cinema. In 1956 it was sold to the proprietors of the Hilsborough Kinema and finally closed for business on the 10th of September, 1960

Info: Sheffield Cinemas.

Although Harold is listed as Manager in 1911; Frederick Phoenix is listed as Proprietor in 1911, 1919 and 1925.

No mention of Cecil at all as Manager.

Heavy bias towards Marlcliffe Road

Archer Frederick Phoenix Clerk 80 Marlcliffe Road, Wadsley (White's 1911)

Frederick Phoenix 68 Marlcliffe Road, Wadsley (White's 1911)

Harold Phoenix 66 Marlcliffe Road, Wadsley (White's 1911)

Cecil Phoenix Cinematograph operator 58 Marlcliffe Road, Hillsborough (White's 1919)

Mrs Mary Elizabeth Phoenix Householder 66 Marlcliffe Road, Hillsborough (White's 1919)

Archer Frederick Phoenix Cinematograph manager 62 Marlcliffe Road, Hillsborough (Kelly's 1925)

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Wadsleyite

Here is a scan of an old postcard I found.

11.jpg

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carosio

I can't remember going in through the front doors, but I remember queues used to form towards the side door. As young teens we would ask adults in the queue if they would "take us in" for the "A" rated films.

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Malinda

My aunt worked in the box office at the Phoenix for a good many years  and when my cousin and I wanted to see a film we would wait until the queue had gone in and then would pop our head into the booth where she sat and say "it's us auntie".  We didn't pay as she would hand us  some complementary tickets!    The front doors were the exits as the box office was up the side (opposite the Queen's Ground Hotel).    I don't remember the overhang around the cinema at all.   My cousin and I will be 75 this year so it's a good few years since we went to see a film together.

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