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Sheffield Cinemas and Theatres


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  • RichardB

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The Lyric Picture House, Main Rd. Darnall. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s02715

The Lyric opened for business on the 22nd of Nevember,1920. Elisha Clayton, while the managing director of the Lyric, kept this hall seperate from his interests in Heeley and Amalgamated Cinemas.

The steel framed brick building was attractive to the eye with it's terracotta reliefs on the facades.

The screen was at the entrance end of the hall, with the projection booth located at stalls level.Twin stairs ran either side of the paybox leading to the rather narrow balcony. Seating was provided for 1,020 patrons, of which 220 were located in the balcony. May of 1930 brought the first sound film at the Lyric with a showing of Sunny Side Up.* Kalee projectors were installed in conjunction with BTH sound equipment as was a new rewind room. Star Cinemas took over thr Lyric in 1943, the first of the Sheffield Cinemas in the company, although the Palace Stocksbridge was already under their control. Early advantage was taken with Sunday openings in October of 1944, only the third cinema outside the city centre to do so.

March 1954 brought the introduction of CinemaScope and the claim that the new screen was the largest in the East End. The first CinemaScope feature was screened in May of the following year.

The Lyric's Sunday openings ceased in May of 1962 with the switch to Bingo heralding the inevitable closure as a cinema on the 29th August, 1962.

* IMDBG review of Sunny Side UP: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017441/

Info: Sheffield Cinemas / Tsavo.

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The Manor Cinema, Manor Top. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s21292

Built on a steeply sloping site at Manor Top, it was opened on 12th of December, 1927. Seating was on three levels, saloon (stalls) and first and second balcony's. The auditorium had a seating capacity was 1680 with a stage from which curtains were hung with the screen in front of these. Projection was from the rear of the of the upper balcony. Within a year, a Billiard hall was added at basement level. Sound presentations were introduced in April of 1930. Six years later a canopy was errected at the entrance.

In 1955 the projection box was moved from it's original position to the rear of the saloon or stalls area. This was a common solution to the problem of keystone* effect with CinemaScope installations. A year later the hall was closed again for the fabrication of a new 35ft wide proscenium arch and the installation of equipment for CinemaScope presentations.

Star Associated Holdings acquired the cinema in 1958 and closed it for the installation of new sound equipment. At the re-opening ceremony, a firework display featured 120 rockets, one for each of the Star's Group cinemas.

Childrens Saturday matinees were started with showings at 10am and 2pm. Sunday opening followed shortly after.

The Manor closed it's doors to film in July of 1963, but was to reopen just a short time later as a bingo hall.

Film presentations were back at the Manor in November of 1963 with some bingo retained and did not finally close until the 14th of June, 1969.

* Keystone is the effect caused by the adoption of a steep projection angle which makes the shape of the image wider at the bottom of the picture than the top. It also causes problems with overall focus.

Info: Sheffield Cinemas / Tsavo

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The Norfolk Picture House, Duke St. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=t01894

The Norfolk Picture Palace was situated at the junction of Duke Street and Talbot Street. Designed by architects Edmund Winder and Co, it opened on Christmas Eve, 1914. With seating for around a 1,000 patrons this included a balcony which was styled from a raised area at the back of the stalls, marked by a red velvet curtain. In 1919 a new, more imposing entrance, was installed. In 1927 the Norfolk was among several Sheffield cinemas installing a Panatrope system which did away with the need for musicians by way of twin record turntables using a cue sheet. The first talkie film shown was Rainbow Man played during Christmas week of 1929. For reasons of ecconomy, an Electrocord sound system was installed, being replaced by a Western Electric system in 1932. Refurbishment was carried out in 1937 which resulted in new concealed lighting being fitted, a remodeled proscenium, and repainting of the auditorium in pastel shades. The entrance was fronted with armour plated glass and a new pay box installed.

After the war, the new CinemaScope format was introduced at the Norfolk with Three Coins in the Fountain in April of 1955. Apart from the Palace Union Street, the Norfolk was, for a time, the only other cinema, near the city centre, to project it's CinemaScope presentations with magnetic stereo sound.

Info: Sheffield Cinemas.

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The Odeon, Flat St. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s21295

Although work on building the Odeon commenced in 1939, the outbreak of war soon delayed this for the duration. It would be 16 years later that building would restart. The Odeon finally on 16th july, 1956. The original pre-war design was changed and externally, a rustic brick facing applied. The foyer was of an unusual design rising to half the building's height with a huge advertising display above the canopy.

Internally, the auditorium was unusually wide and a continuous coving linked the walls and ceiling. Seating was provided for 2340 patrons with 816 circle seats.

Projection equipment was installed for the 70mm film format. Among these long running large screen presentations were, South Pacific*, Cleapatra** and The Sound of Music.***

The Odeon closed for film presentations on the 5th June, 1971. It still remains a bingo hall.

* IMDB review for South Pacific: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052225/

** IMDB review for Cleopatra: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056937/

*** IMDB review for The Sound of Music: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059742/

http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s21270

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The Oxford Picture Palace, Addy Street. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s08087

Situated at the junction of Addy St and Shipton Lane, the Oxford Palace opened on 12th December, 1913. Originally built as a Unitarian Chapel, the Palace utilised much of the original building, though the altar remained behind the projection screen. Architects Hickton and Farmer also designed the

Electra Palace (later The News Theatre and the Classic) and the Cinema House Barkers Pool. Externally, the building boasted white stucco with an arched window above the entrance and leaded light windows. The entrance lounge boasted tapestry panels, a theme continued in the auditorium. The Palace had a capacity for 900 patrons and suffered damage during the blitz night of the 12th December 1940 but re-opened, after repairs, in time for Christmas of that year. The owners of the Palace, Heeley and Amalgamated, sold out to Star Cinemas in January 1955 who installed a much larger screen in preperation for the new films shot in the CinemaScope format.

The Palace survived longer than many suburban cinemas, but finally closed on the 15th August, 1964.

http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s02717

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The Walkley Palladium, Highton Street / South Rd. Walkley. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s08085

Opened on the 17th of December 1914, the Palladium had individual upholstered seating for all its 1,000 patrons. Externally the building had imitation stone dressing and pilasters. The auditorium itself had a balcony on three sides with the entrance at the screen end on the building. Twin Kaylee projectors

screened Brewstwrs Millions, war news and a cartoon on the opening night. A orchestra of six musicians accompanied the performances at 6.50 pm, 9.00 pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.30 pm.

Talkies made their first performance on the 25th of November, 1929, the sixth Sheffield cinema to be converted for sound. Equipment was by Western Electric and it's first use was for the showing of Rainbow Man.*

During the next couple of years various improvements were made to the Palladium including the re-decoration of the auditorium. Hand painted Lakeland scenes were painted on the ceiling which were surrounded by mouldings of crimson and gold. Thsese were lit by six suspended lanterns in lemon and pink

New tub type seating was installed in 1935.

The projection room was at ground level on Highton St. Chief Projectionist Arthur Norton was presented with a cheque in 1962 for £25 in recognition of 25 years of service. This coincided with the final performance in October of that year.

Info: Sheffield Cinemas / Tsavo

* Review of Rainbow Man (1929) from IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020308/

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The Park Picture Palace, South St. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s19604

The Park Palace opened on the 1st of August, 1913. It had seating for around 800, including the balcony. Like many Sheffield cinemas of the time, it was covered externally in white faience with an ornamental parapet linking twin towers. These were later remooved but continuing to be visible were the letters SPP, signifying Sheffield Park Pictures. The Park was one of the few cinemas which relied on a solo pianist to provide an accompaniment to their silent films.

The Park closed as a cinema in June of 1960 but a short term lease was granted to Ken Kerner Entertainments who re-opened the Park for the first time for Sunday performances. It would close again in June, two years later but was then reopened by film enthusiast Dennis O'Grady, previously head doorman at the Gaumont Cinema. From November of 1963 the Park offered three changes of programme weekly. It finally closed on New Year's Eve in 1966 with a showing of Peter Pan and Emil and the Detectives.

Info: Sheffield Cinemas / Tsavo

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The Pavilion, Atterciffe Common. - http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s21355

The Pavilion was built by the owners of the Heeley Palace in 1915. Above the entrance canopy, were four pilasters, surfaced with glazed terracotta. The words Music, Pavilion and Drama were embossed in panels. Tudor style oak panels decorated the auditorium with five boxes on either side. Seating capacity, including the balcony, was for around 1250. Damage during the first night of the blitz forced a temporary closure but the Pavilion was back in business by January of 1941. In 1955, it was taken over by Star Cinemas when it was closed for complete modernisation and immediately applied for a Sunday opening licence. By 1956, both Sunday opening for the showing of Asian films and children's Saturday matinees were introduced.

1961 saw the introduction of some bingo sessions. Two years later, the Pavilion closed as a cinema and opened briefly as a casino reverting back to cinema performances in 1963. This continued for the next five years when bingo returned.

In August of 1970 having been taken over by Birmingham based Elite Cinemas, cinema performances returned with Asian films on Sundays, and English language during the week. These Asian films were dropped two months later and replaced with Pakistani films. In 1971 the hall was extensively refurbished and new projectors installed.This cinama performances continued until the final closure in 1979.

Info: Sheffield Cinemas

http://www.picturesheffield.com/cgi-bin/pi...ff.refno=s21358

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