A new dawn for Sheffield’s old cinema

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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ONE of Sheffield’s best-loved listed buildings is set to be transformed into a climbing centre.

Plans are in place to convert Abbeydale Picture House, built in 1920, to an indoor sports venue with a focus on bouldering after it was bought for £150,000 at auction.

New owner Phil Robins is the boss of The Edge Climbing Centre, John Street. He has promised the building’s revamp will be ‘sympathetic’ to its original architecture and hopes to establish a community hub in the old cinema, providing activities such as yoga.

Proposals will need permission from Sheffield Council for a change of use from an arts venue.

Mr Robins said: “We are going to get it back more like it was when it closed in 1975.”

The iconic Abbeydale Picture House reopened in 2008 following a five-year campaign to save it.

There were plans for a full-scale restoration but it was repossessed by Yorkshire Bank last year after trustees failed to keep up with mortgage payments.

The Friends of Abbeydale Picture House hoped to buy back the picture house themselves but received only £50,000 in pledges.