I am a freelance writer living based in Sheffield. Check out my blog of the Berlin music scene at fourquartersofberlinmusic.blogspot.co.uk.
Published October 18th 2012
Sheffield's Showroom Cinema goes the Full Monty
This award-winning independent cinema is easy to find, its neon blue sign punctuates the Sheffield skyline and is the first thing you see when you exit the city's train station.
The Showroom Cinema is located inside an art deco building, originally a car dealership, at the heart of the city's Cultural Industries Quarter. The Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre Ltd purchased the building in 1989 and transformed the site into one of the largest and most important independent cinemas in Europe.
Four luxury suites showcase the best in independent films, from critically-acclaimed contemporary works to timeless cult classics. The cinema also presents films at the cutting edge of world cinema, for those of you who like obscure French romance movies or gruesome Japanese horror.
The Showroom regularly hosts festivals celebrating the world of cinema and creative events including talks from film experts. There is a film quiz, a Jazz night and even special screenings of movies that will have you exclaiming 'They don't make them like that anymore.'
The rich diversity in its programming, along with the venue's comfortable setting, saw it voted the nation's favourite independent cinema in a 2002 Guardian readers poll. It provides a safe refuge for cinema lovers who want an escape away from the other cinema mega-plexes that show the latest soppy Hollywood Rom-Coms in sticky auditoriums filled with popcorn-throwing teenagers.
Arrive early and buy a drink in the stylish bar area adorned with illustrations of cameras and frogs on the walls and garishly pink ventilators hanging from the ceiling. There is no need to down your pint when it comes time to take your seats for the film as you can just ask for a plastic cup and take your drink in with you.
For a real film and food treat you should definitely try the gourmet meals on offer. You may recognise their head chef, Simon Ayers, who was given the nickname 'the cage fighter of the kitchen' by Gordon Ramsey when his previous restaurant, the Milestone, won the Channel 4's Best Restaurant series. All the dishes on his menu are made from locally produced ingredients. Even the runner beans are grown on their allotment located on the roof of the cinema.
A ticket will cost around £7, however it is only £4 for students between Sunday and Thursday. The box office is open daily from 11.30am except Monday and Thursdays from 10am. Make sure you check their website for all up-coming events and films so you don't miss out on anything.