The Sheffield Star reported in June 2012 that the Abbeydale Cinema, which has been run as a not-for-profit community venue, was threatened with closure: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/money-woes-could-spell-final-curtain-for-sheffield-theatre-1-4698498.
I drew attention to the Abbeydale in a blog-article some time ago because of its rare surviving iron safety-curtain, complete with 1950s advertisements for local businesses.
At that time, a Friends group were restoring it as a venue for amateur drama and other community uses: http://www.abbeydalepicturehouse.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81&Itemid=115.
There are some fine interior views at http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php/53993-Abbeydale-Picture-House-Sheffield-08-09-07 and an art-photography series by Guy J Brown at http://www.guyjbrown.com/abbeydalepicturehouse.
A further article in the Star at the end of October reported that the building had been sold for £150,000. The then unnamed buyer dismissed the possibility of running as a theatre as “not financially viable”, but said, “It’s a lovely facility. The intention is to bring it back into public use.”
The new owner is in fact Phil Robins, who runs The Edge, an indoor climbing centre near Bramall Lane football ground. He announced in January 2013 his intention to seek planning permission to adapt the building for climbing, bouldering and a multi-gym. His scheme restores the interior space to its 1975 condition, and will be known as The Picture House.
Sheffield has only two listed cinemas: the other one is the Adelphi, Attercliffe, which has been mothballed for years.
For details of Mike Higginbottom’s lecture Fun Palaces: the history and architecture of the entertainment industry please click here.