old cinema wedding venue in Sheffield

Patchwork’s Favourite Venues: Abbeydale Picture House

We’re taking our favourite wedding venue series outside of London, turning our heads from smoke to steel with one of our favourite Sheffield wedding venues, Abbeydale Picture House. We chatted to Elinor, one of the event coordinators, about what exactly makes this converted cinema the perfect place to have your wedding celebration…

Tell us a bit about Abbeydale Picture House and what makes it special.

APH is a Grade 2 listed building in South Yorkshire. Opened in 1920 by the Lord Mayor, it was one of the largest and most luxurious cinemas in Sheffield. It boasted intricate decor and a mosaic floor and soon became known as the ‘picture palace’ owing to it’s decadent interior and architecture. Now, it’s half turquoise and boasts some pretty awesome 70s cog flower wallpaper, and is the centrepoint of a huge restoration project, seeing it be reclaimed and reused by the people of Sheffield and beyond as an incredible community space and venue.

Taken on by CADS in 2017, (a charity focused on supporting the creative arts in Sheffield) the fly tower (the area behind the screen) has been cleared, which has opened up an amazing space for dining, meaning day-long celebrations can be held there. The legal marriage license was granted in the same year, meaning folk may be legally wed in the auditorium, in front of a projection of their choosing. Inner City partnered with CADS from day one and continues to invest in the space, and deliver unique weddings and events there as it’s a venue full of soul and character and we bloody love it.

If you could choose just five words to describe the venue to couples what would you say?

Characterful, historic, ambient, unique, cool (AF!)

What’s your favourite feature and why?

When it’s lit beautifully the feeling in the place is very ambient and humbling. It’s a great space for live music and the huge screen means couples can project art on there, stills from movies, movie clips and videos they’ve made. You can feel the history of the building around you and it looks incredible. Wedding ceremonies here can be very moving!

Which weddings stand out for you – any weird or wonderful ones?

It’s still very much a newbie to the ‘wedding market’ but we’ve had some lovely ones so far. We’re not allowed favourites- they’re all our favourites! 😛 I particularly love it when people make the most of the huge screen.

Everyone who chooses to celebrate with us is contributing toward the restoration and upkeep of the space so we are always honoured to host one of the most special event in people’s lives.

Have you ever had to be a hero and save the day?

We have a fantastic team of events ninjas and technical staff from CADS who work so, so, hard to make this a viable and attainable venue for people. They’re all heroes. We host the weddings in a relaxed DIY style and always help and advise where we can but give couples the freedom to make their celebration their own.

Do you have a favourite season or a particular theme or time of year that you think works best at Abbeydale Picture House?

Summer for sure – we generally take bookings here from April to October as there is no central heating. We have had weddings outside of this timeframe but they’ve hired in specialist heating which can crank up the costs a bit.

And finally, give us the lowdown – quick facts and stats

  • You can do the legal deed here
  • It’s in the heart of Sheffield’s Antique’s Quarter
  • You can bring in your own caterer
  • You can BYO your own table wine and reception drinks for a teeny corkage fee
  • Auditorium capacity is 300, flytower is 120
  • There is a bar area, auditorium, flytower and a car park
  • Our instagram is @picturehouseweddings
  • Our brochure is here
  • You can have a ceremony here and then go onto a different space if you wish (though we’d rather you stay for the day of course!)

Email picturehouseweddings@gmail.com for more info.

images by S6 Photography and Tim Dunk Photography