Scala Cinema

Brookhill,
Sheffield, S3

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The Scala Cinema was built at the junction of Brookhill and Winter Street (now closed) opening on 23rd December 1921. It was designed by G.B. Flockton of the architectural firm of Gibbs, Flockton & Teather. The brick and terracotta building was in the style of an Italian opera house. There were assembly rooms in the basement, a first floor cafe and a ballroom on the second floor. A central portico gave access to the foyer decorated with marble dado and pilasters with panelling of French grey wood.

A staircase on each side led to the balcony with the right hand one leading to the cafe and ballroom as well. The auditorium was similarly decorated with a dado and polished grey wood & mahogany panels with stained glass lunettes in the ceiling, which provided dimmed lighting during the film performances. Ruby lighting marked each step in the balcony. The balcony itself curved around the auditorium to the screen which was at the same end of the building as the entrance.

Proprietors were Scala Cinema (Sheffield) Ltd. The first talkie at the Scala was “Broadway Melody” shown in October 1929. In 1936 a new proscenium front was constructed and the auditorium was redecorated in a contract with Friese-Greene. The roof was severely damaged on the night of the Sheffield blitz 12th/13th December 1940 which resulted in the Scala Cinema closing until 7th July 1941. During the Second World War the cafe was used as a Municipal Restaurant.

With the expansion of Sheffield University, the Scala Cinema became one of the first Sheffield cinemas to close on 5th July 1952. However, it was another twelve years before the University built on the site and the Scala Cinema was used by the Department of Biochemistry. The Scala Cinema was finally demolished in 1964 and replaced with University buildings.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)
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