Big plans in store for Abbeydale Picture House

By Rhiannon Topham

@Big_tops

The historic Abbeydale Picture House could be open for more permanent use if renovation plans are approved and the owners obtain an alcohol license.

A planning application has been submitted to the council for permission to replace the sloping dancefloor and install new bar and kitchen facilities.

The improvements will conform to the building’s Victorian heritage and maintain its original structure.

Joe Harris of Film zine Reel Steel, said: “The building itself has a sense of occasion about it, a feeling of history as soon as you walk into the auditorium, with a lot of support from people across the city.”

Over the last year, the Grade II listed building on Abbeydale Road has only been used for occasional festivals, such as the Picture House Revival organised by arts group Hand Of, film nights and vintage markets.

These events relied on a temporary license to serve alcohol to visitors – if the plans are approved, the Picture House could function as a cafe or bar as well as music, film and drama venue.

 

Joe Harris, who organised a screening of Enter the Dragon at the Picture House to coincide with what would have been Bruce Lee’s 75th birthday, also said: “The event was as much about celebrating a movie icon as it was about bringing something to the Abbeydale Picture House.

Ongoing refurbishments to the main auditorium and projection room continue with help from volunteers and owner Phil Robins.

 

The interior of one of the rooms inside Abbeydale Picture House
The interior of one of the rooms inside Abbeydale Picture House

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