Former Sheffield cinema to become events hub

Phil Robins at the former Abbeydale Cinema in Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, which he aims to turn into a climbing centre.
Phil Robins at the former Abbeydale Cinema in Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, which he aims to turn into a climbing centre.
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A former cinema is set to be used as an events venue after plans to turn it into a climbing centre fell through.

Phil Robins, owner of the Abbeydale Picture House on Abbeydale Road, hoped to use the listed building as an indoor climbing centre after buying it at auction two years ago.

But he has now decided that Sheffield has enough indoor climbing facilities, and plans to hire out the upstairs of the building for community events.

Hundreds of people recently attended a performance there as part of the Sensoria festival of music, film and digital.

Mr Robins said: “I think the future is in events.

“The building is in a much better state than it has been for 30 or 40 years.

“The intention is to put on as many diverse community events as possible.”

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The interior of the old cinema has been totally cleared, following a range of repairs to make the roof watertight and take out partition walls.

The basement of the building, formerly a snooker hall, is already operating as independent bar Picture House Social.

The nearby Sheffield Antiques Quarter has also been given a boost, with the news that Sheffield Council will support the development as a new destination for the city and install brown tourism signage as well as other markers.

It means the quarter is now a permanent feature of the city.

Hendrika Stephens, quarter chairman, said: “This is absolutely brilliant news and what we have been looking for from the start.”

Antiques quarter traders are holding a large Christmas vintage market at the cinema on December 7.