Oral History Project at the Abbeydale Picture House Begins

The Abbeydale Picture House is fast approaching its centenary year as a local landmark, and remains one of the best examples of early twentieth century “Picture Palaces” in Sheffield. We know quite a bit about the history of the cinema already; it was originally decorated in a cream and gold colour scheme, saw the development of films from silent pictures to talking pictures in cinema’s “Golden Age”, and had a popular Ballroom and Billiard Hall, now the location of the Picture House Social bar. Questions remain however: How do local residents remember the cinema? What did the cinema look like after it had been redecorated for a second time in the 1950s? One big question we’d like to answer is whether any pictures remain of the cinema or the employees who worked here. We’re looking to further our own understanding of the history of the cinema, as well as building on the work of local historians already deposited in the Sheffield Archive.

CADS Trust is hoping to record the experiences of anyone who remembers visiting the Abbeydale Picture House whilst it was open. We’ll be working with a student from the University of Sheffield who will be interviewing local residents about their memories of the cinema. This will ultimately help us increase our knowledge of how the cinema operated in the past, and will help with restoration and funding for work in the future.

If you remember spending time at the Abbeydale, we’d love to hear from you. From the 22nd of February onwards, we’ll be inviting members of the public to come and look around the cinema and recall their experiences. If you’d like to contribute but are unable to visit, please let us know and an alternative can be arranged!

Please contact: Abbeydaleoralhistory2018@gmail.com to find out more!

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