Roscoe Picture House

Infirmary Road,
Sheffield, S6

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The first cinema on this site at the junction of Jobson Road with Infirmary Road in Sheffield opened on 23rd December 1910 as the Peoples' Electric Picture Palace. It was converted from a former coach house. Twice nightly variety with animated pictures were on the programme. Within a month the building was known as the Roscoe.

The new Roscoe Picture Palace was erected alongside the old building and opened on 22nd April 1922 with seating for 900 on a single floor, although a small raised area at the rear was known as the balcony. The main entrance to the auditorium was at the proscenium end of the hall and the proscenium itself had a width of 25 feet. ‘Talkies’ arrived in October 1930 with the Symplaphone Sound System which was later replaced in 1938 when the BTH Sound System was installed.

In 1931 a complete re-seating and redecoration scheme was carried out by the Friese-Greene firm. A Japanese rockery garden was placed in front of the proscenium in the old orchestra pit. The whole refurbishment only took ten days and was carried out without closing the cinema. Sunday opening came in November 1952 and a new larger curved screen was installed in July 1953 with Cinemascope and stereophonic sound installed in September 1955, involving the removal of a few of the front seats.

Bingo sessions were introduced on Saturday evenings in mid-1961 but the building was closed on September 23rd 1961. It was then leased to Kenneth Kerner who reopened the cinema within two weeks with bingo sessions moving to Wednesday evenings. However, films soon ceased to be shown and the last films screened were James Stewart in “Thunder Bay” and Jeff Chandler in “War Arrow” on 22nd April 1962. It then became a full time bingo hall known as the Roscoe Casino and remained as such for many years. Demolition came in the mid-1990’s, to make way for the north junction of the Sheffield Ring Road.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)
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