Rutland Picture House

30 Rutland Road,
Sheffield, S3 8DP

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Architects: John E. Whitehead

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Rutland Picture House

The Rutland Picture House opened in January 1915 on Rutland Road at its junction with Burton Road and Neepend Lane, in the Philadelphia district on the north side of Sheffield. The cinema had a tower feature on its exterior, and the projection box was at the rear of the stalls at ground level. The site is now (2014) occupied by a 1960’s style office building home to Wells Richardson, chartered accountants. The footprint of the cinema is still there.

Kinematograph Year Book 1928 records the proprietors as Rutland Picture House Ltd. and there were two shows nightly. In KYB 1931 the Rutland Picture House is one of the minority of Sheffield cinemas still not wired for sound. It was remodelled in 1934 by the Sheffield based Kenneth Friese Greene, whose firm became Modernisation Ltd. in 1941. BTH sound had been installed by KYB 1935 which also gives the capacity as 900 and states that films are “booked at hall” This is all repeated in KYB 1937.

In KYB 1942, seating has fallen to 816, otherwise ownership and other details remain unchanged; as they are in KYB 1945 and 1947. The cinema is not listed in KYB 1950 and beyond.

One source reports that it “closed in the early-1940’s”, another source states it was damaged on the first night of the German blitz on the city in autumn 1940 and never reopened. The film showing at the time was “Hitler, Beast of Berlin” which remained advertised on the building for several years with the last two words removed. However, the Rutland Picture House was still listed in KYBs 1942/45/47. The building was demolished in the 1950’s. The same source reports a balcony, stage and two dressing rooms.

Contributed by H J Hill

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

HJHill on June 25, 2014 at 1:17 am

The building was definitely not demolished in 1948, as commonly reported. There are aerial photos taken in September 1951 which show the complete building standing. There are two large loading-bay-type doors in the auditorium wall along Rutland Street and the pavement looks to have been modified/ramped to permit vehicular access. The roof over the centre/front of the auditorium looks original; that over the rear/balcony looks a cheap replacement. If that was because of bomb-damage, the lighthouse/tower feature on the roof at the front/corner escaped any damage. Due to the cost and materials involved, it wouldn’t have been restored when the building was repaired.

Even allowing for the confusion of war and the possible inertia in KYB updating its listings, for the Rutland to be listed in KYB 1947, two years after the end of the war, seems to contradict the widespread belief that it ceased operating in the early 1940’s.

Mike_Blakemore on June 25, 2014 at 9:32 am

Kenneth Friese Greene was the Son of William Friese Greene…

Mike_Blakemore on June 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm

My Company had dealt with John Friese Greene’s company Modernisiation Ltd. for over 50 years I had planned to do a Project in 1996 but alas it was not to be He died before the Savoy could be done.. In that time we never had a written contract for any of the major works he did for us.

Mike_Blakemore on August 27, 2014 at 3:10 am

A Point of interest Modernisation Ltd., become “Chart Developments” They did a lot of work at Disney France.. The Castle and most of Main Street

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