Fresh bid to bring about Sheffield picture house’s revival

An antiques quarter vintage market was held at the Abbeydale Picture House and the adjoing car park on Sunday (7 Decmeber 2014). Our picture shows some of the outdoor stalls.
An antiques quarter vintage market was held at the Abbeydale Picture House and the adjoing car park on Sunday (7 Decmeber 2014). Our picture shows some of the outdoor stalls.
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The Abbeydale Picture House is to undergo a new revamp - part of efforts to secure its future as a venue.

The building’s owner wants to partially refurbish the main auditorium, making it more suitable for holding large events.

The intention is to eventually apply for an alcohol licence covering the premises. Previous, smaller one-off events have relied on temporary permission to sell drinks.

In a statement to planning officers, Philip Moore from Cordonier Architects, acting on behalf of owner Phil Robins’ Abbeydale Climbing Limited, said the premises ‘do not meet current standards’.

“The building is unusual and challenging in that its main space has a sloping floor, as opposed to tiered or stepped like many former cinemas,” said Mr Moore.

Architects have been in talks with the city council and engineering firms on how to make the venue ‘suitable for full-scale use’, he added.

“The challenge with this is daunting, made worse by a lack of finance and making a sloping floor safe for dancing and a large capacity, who of course wish to move, as is the case with live music.”

An application for listed building consent has been lodged to carry out work in the upper part of the main space. The original suspended floor would be replaced, creating a horizontal surface, with a barrier, steps and ramp leading to the seating area. The temporary bar is to be made permanent with space for a kitchen.

The picture house opened in 1920 and was granted Grade II listed status in 1989. Mr Robins bought the building in 2012. Its basement is used as the Picture House Social bar.