Picture palace gathers dust

Former Adelphi Cinema, Attercliffe, Sheffield (1985)

Former Adelphi Cinema, Attercliffe, Sheffield (1985)

The Adelphi Cinema (1920) on Vicarage Road, Attercliffe, is one of Sheffield’s two listed cinemas alongside the more prominent and interesting Abbeydale Picture House on the other side of the city.

Originally located up a cul-de-sac, it has an interesting façade of buff and blue faience with a stubby little dome, designed to catch the eye.  Now that the surrounding buildings have been cleared, it’s more visible from the main road and forms one of a group of historic buildings alongside the former Attercliffe Baths (1879), the former Attercliffe Library (1894) and one of Attercliffe’s two Burton’s stores.

All these survive alongside the site of the Don Valley Stadium, formerly Brown Bayley’s steelworks, and now being redeveloped:  there is an opportunity waiting to be taken to develop the possibilities of this location.  The Baths have been converted into a largely sterile office and conference facility, which at least safeguards the fabric, and the Library has recently opened as a splendid café and restaurant [Sheffield | Restauraunt & Bar | The Library by Lounge | Attercliffe] but the Adelphi remains dark.

The Adelphi closed as a cinema in 1967, and operated as a bingo club until well into the 1980s.  There was a project to take advantage of its elegant classical interior as a gay club, and eventually it was transformed into a rock venue.  It was listed Grade II in 1996 but after a period as a music-teaching venue in 2000-2006 it fell into neglect.

By 2013 it was used as a storage facility, and someone went to great trouble to strip out the original plasterwork.

This was an object-lesson in how not to treat a listed building.

Yet the Adelphi stands on the main road between Sheffield, Rotherham and the M1 motorway.  There’s no shortage of car-parking.

It’s a possibility waiting to be turned into a practicality.

Plans are afoot to rescue the Adelphi:  The new Adelphi | Mike Higginbottom Interesting Times.

For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lecture Fun Palaces:  the history and architecture of the entertainment industry please click here.

3 thoughts on “Picture palace gathers dust

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