This was a theatre only in the broadest sense; a big rectangular hall built in 1867 by a group of Wesleyan businessmen for music recitals and a variety of light entertainments. It had a dour but imposing exterior in brick with stone dressings; three unequal bays, progressively set back to follow frontage line; tall ground storey with ornamental storey course at notional first floor level. Iron and glass canopy to triple-arched entrance. Enriched cill band and frieze to second floor windows set between piers and columns with elaborated capitals, supporting a full entablature with dentil and modillion cornice. Crowning parapet with carved panels and dies.
The auditorium was like a great mission hall, 125ft by 60ft, with a balcony on three sides and second balcony at end; concert stage backed by choir steps and 76 stop Cavaille Coll organ. The interior was described as ‘opulent, with fine panels, rich tracery carving… and intricate designs of cornucopia and Doric columns’. There was also a small hall, 48ft by 38ft, a chapel and ample ancillary accommodation.
As might be expected, the hall was principally noted for evangelistic meetings, orchestral, choral and vocal concerts, operas and brass band competitions. There were also minstrel and variety shows, magic lantern and (from 1896) moving picture shows. By 1919 it had a proscenium stage and about that time it became a more or less regular picture house with occasional variety, but it was subsequently steadily overtaken by purpose-built cinemas.
The Albert Hall was gutted by fire in 1937 and demolished some years later.
- 1873 Design/Construction:Flockton & Abbott- Architect
- 1873 Owner/Management: Sheffield Music Hall Company
- 1914 Alteration: new projection room builtUnknown- Architect
- 1918 Owner/Management: New Century Pictures, lessee
- 1919 Alteration: proscenium builtUnknown- Architect
- 1927 Alteration: new proscenium arch to deeper stage; internal refurbishment and improvements; exterior canopy added to shelter 1500Chadwick & Weston- Architect
- CapacityOriginalDescription2200 (proposed in 1864 as ‘up to 3000’)
- CapacityLaterDescription1912: 1900
- ListingNot listed