Essoldo Southey Green

405 Herries Road, Southey Green,
Sheffield, S5 7HF

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Essoldo Southey Green

The Forum Cinema, located in the Southey Green district of Sheffield, opened on 17th September 1938 with a special performance of Grace Moore in “One Night of Love”. It was built by Gleesons of Sheffield to the designs of George Coles. Large quantities of steel were used in the construction with the balcony girder weighing thirty tons. Built of red brick with a white faience on the lower facade and on a tall tower fin with the name Forum on top. When illuminated at night, it could be seen from a wide area. A large canopy over the front displayed the films playing. Six pairs of doors led into Sheffield’s largest cinema foyer where the paybox and chocolate kiosk were situated. A carpeted staircase on each side led to the circle foyer which had large picture windows overlooking the main road.

The auditorium had seating for 1,814, with fawn coloured walls decorated with Art Deco style panels painted by Walter Beach of Sheffield. The walls converged towards the screen with ventalation and acoustic panels on each side, which prevented echo. The seats were of green velvet and over 2,000 yards of Wilton carpet was used throughout the building. A stage was provided including a safety curtain, draw tabs and satin festoon tabs to the screen.

From November 1947 the Forum Cinema became part of the Essoldo group and Cinemascope and stereo sound was installed in April 1955. In June 1956 it became the Essoldo Southey Green, to distinguish it from the Essoldo Lane Top (ex Capitol) which was about a mile away.

Bingo was introduced on one evening session a week in December 1961, but this was discontinued in May 1962. From November 1967 it closed on Wednesdays with final closure as a cinema on 31st May 1969 with Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” and “One Silver Dollar”. It reopened as a bingo hall for a short time but soon closed again and was demolished with a supermarket being built on the site, in 2008 it is Tesco.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

HJHill
HJHill on June 30, 2014 at 1:35 pm

The Kinematograph Year Books add a little to the above. The proscenium was 35ft or 40ft wide (both are quoted) and 15ft deep. There were two dressing rooms. The original owners were Forum Cinema (Sheffield) Ltd who booked the films at the hall. However KYB 1942 adds “Variety through Percy Hall’s Agency, Oxford Road, Manchester”. That didn’t appear in KYB 1947 or thereafter. In the Essoldo years, films were booked in London.

Often in KYB listings the seating capacity of a cinema changes, but it stayed consistently at 1814 for the Forum (certainly to KYB 1954).

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