Star Picture House
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The Star Picture House was built on Ecclesall Road at the junction with William Street, to the south-west of Sheffield city centre. Building started before the commencement of the First World War but the cinema did not open until 22nd December 1915.
Brick built with imitation stone dressings to the doors, windows and pilasters, a feature of the building was an ornamental dome supported by nine columns on the right hand corner of the cinema. A series of Grecian urns ran along the top parapet of the building. The main entrance was to the left of the building which led into a long narrow foyer with mirrored walls and embossed ceiling. Doors on the right hand side led into the saloon (stalls) and two staircases led up to the balcony.
Total seating was for 1,028. The balcony front was decorated with laurel leaf mouldings and other ornamental features, while the 26 feet wide proscenium arch was of gilded lattice work of laurel branches and rosettes with a winged and helmeted head of Mercury in the centre at the top. The Star Picture House also contained a cafe and a billiard hall. The first proprietors of the Star Picture House were Premier Pictures Ltd., who were also associated with the Central Cinema on the Moor and the Abbeydale Cinema on Abbeydale Road. This association ceased in 1929. It was taken over by J.F. Emery Circuit in 1937 and they operated it until 1955.
Like several Sheffield cinemas, the Star Picture House received a hit on the first night of the blitz of the Second World War. The bomb did not explode but caused serious damage to the roof, projection room and other parts of the cinema, causing it to close until 6th October 1941. For safety reasons the ornamental tower and Grecian urns on the outside were removed. The stalls and circle were not fully restored until 1955 when the cinema was taken over by the Star Cinemas chain, based in Leeds.
In 1962, after only two trial sessions of bingo, Star Picture House closed the Star Cinema on Wednesday 17th January with “Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea” & “Dossier” and reopened as the Star casino on full time bingo. This lasted until 1984 when the bingo club closed. The Star Cinema was demolished in 1986 and a petrol station was built on the site.
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