Lyric Picture House

96 Main Road, Darnall,
Sheffield, S9

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Lyric Picture House

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The Lyric Picture House was built in Darnall, an east-end suburb of Sheffield and opened on 22nd November 1920. A brick built building with a steel frame and a facade with terracotta relief. The site sloped upwards towards Fisher Lane at the rear, so the cinema was built ‘back to front’ with the screen at the front end of the building and the balcony to the rear. The projection room was at the rear of the stalls. A central entrance led into the stalls foyer where the paybox was situated. Two staircases led up to a small balcony foyer from where open passageways along each side of the auditorium led to the balcony seating. The cinema seated 1,020 – 800 in the stalls and 220 in the balcony.

A BTH sound system with Kalee projectors was installed in 1930 and the first talkie screened at the Lyric was “Sunny Side Up”. At the end of 1943, the Lyric Picture House came under the control of the the Leeds based Star Cinema Group, the first Sheffield cinema they acquired. They introduced Sunday opening in 1944 along with childrens Saturday matinees.

In March 1954 a new panoramic screen was installed, claiming to be the largest in Sheffield’s East End, in readiness for the first Cinemascope film to be screened in May 1955. From Sunday 27th May 1962, Sunday film performances were replaced by bingo sessions with Wednesday nights added a few weeks later. The Lyric Picture House closed as a cinema on 29th August 1962 with the films “The Pot Carriers” & “Spin Of A Coin” being the last shown. It then became a full time Star Bingo Club, known as the Lyric Casino. After the casino closed, the building remained derelict for several years until it was demolished to make way for a housing development.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)
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