All about us

Showroom Workstation is a vibrant cultural centre in the heart of Sheffield, a place to meet, work, learn and play.

Housing a cinema and a creative business centre, it is based in the converted 1930’s Kenning’s car showroom, located in the area adjacent to Sheffield train station which was once teaming with steel and silver fabricators. The formerly derelict art deco building was rescued from demolition by Sheffield Media & Exhibition Centre Ltd (SMEC) in 1989 and it opened in its new guise in stages from 1993 -1998. It is now an internationally significant cultural centre and hub for the region and a treasured independent cinema.

Showroom is one of the largest independent cinemas in Europe with four luxury auditoria, education spaces and a café/bar. It presents a lively programme of films from around the world, from contemporary film to classic cinema and is proud to screen a diverse original programme, relevant to its local and regional audiences.

Showroom regularly hosts festivals and events, often bringing creative practitioners to Sheffield for live question and answer sessions - giving audiences a chance to meet experts from different media, learn new skills and cultivate new ideas.

The Workstation is a hothouse for the creative and digital industries sector, housing over 60 companies working with clients in the region, the UK and internationally.

Showroom Workstation’s parent company is a Registered Charity. It exists to support the cultural and educational provision around film for Sheffield and has wider ambitions to support and develop the independent film sector in the region, with particular interests in Documentary Film and Cinema For Young People. These interests are reflected in the major activities it has undertaken across the past 20 years of its existence. 

Together, Showroom and Workstation provide facilities, training opportunities and engagement for the Film Industry. We are the Hub Lead Organisation for Film Hub North, part of the BFI’s UK-wide initiative The Audience Network,  providing cultural leadership and coordination for film exhibition for the whole of the North of England.

Education & Engagement

Showroom Cinema’s year-round learning and engagement programme reflects, supports and develops the 3 core tenets of film education:

Cultural Access, Critical Understanding and Creative Activity.

At the Showroom there are opportunities for the general public, teachers, lecturers and students within formal education to enhance their knowledge and understanding of film.

Our programme of screenings and activities is aimed at all ages and diverse communities. Drawing on the world of cinema, we develop tailor-made events to support specific learning needs and welcome over 7000 people to the Showroom every year to engage in education activities

Activities can be formal and informal and include introductions, question and answer events, debates, discussions, provision of programme notes and presentations. We offer a programme of evening courses open to the public that are presented in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University.

inclusive cinema

The Showroom offers opportunities for children and adults with special learning, emotional or physical needs to experience cinema and activities based around film.

Subtitled Mondays

Every Monday we'll screen English language films with subtitles where its possible for us to do so*. Perfect if you have trouble hearing the dialogue when you visit the cinema. Our aim is to make our cinema programme more accessible for everyone. You can find out which films will be played with subtitles on our website, by picking up a listings flyer at box office or by signing up to receive our weekly e-newsletter.

*Not all films have subtitles included in the digital files supplied by the film distributor. Hopefully as more cinemas offer this service to their customers, this will become less common and more films will become available to screen using this facility.

We accept the CEA card

The CEA card is a national concessionary card developed by the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association for UK cinemas in order to allow people with disabilities to obtain one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema.

Kids Inclusive Cinema

KIC Start (Kids Inclusive Cinema) screenings take place once a month at 1pm on a Sunday. They are designed to make the cinema a more friendly place for children with autism. The lights will be dimmed, the sound reduced and there will be a separate room for relaxation during the screening. 

See the Young Cinema page for film listings.

mencap screenings

Every month a film is chosen just for members of Mencap at £3 each.

If you would like more information about any of the facilities and services above, please get in touch.

Access

Our screens can accommodate between 2 and 15 spaces for wheelchairs and we advise users to book space in advance of their visit.

For more information about wheelchair access across our whole organisation as well as other facilities currently offered to those with specific physical needs, please visit the access page.

Our Film Programme

The Showroom Cinema’s film programme offers a lively and very diverse range of cinema from across the globe. It is the main cultural cinema venue in our region and plays an important role for audiences as part of their cultural life – many of the films screened here are not otherwise available in the region and some programmes are not otherwise screened anywhere in the UK.

Our programme screens all types of films including a main programme of new releases as well as archive film, documentary, animation, foreign language film, special one-off screenings, short films and touring film programmes. We present several festivals each year including Showcomotion, ShAFF and Celluloid Screams and we are the home of Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Our cinema has 4 screens, all with luxury seating and high quality flexible projection facilities and sound systems. Screen 1 seats 83, Screen 2 seats 110, both located at ground level. Screen 3 seats 178 and Screen 4 seats 272, both located at basement level.

In recent years our cinema screens have been used to offer wider cultural access, using satellite technology to bring world-class theatre, opera and ballet to Sheffield with participation in projects such as NT:Live, Glyndebourne, Globe on Screen  and the Bolshoi ballet screenings.

Ambitions & Achievements

Film hub north

Showroom Workstation has established Film Hub North, part of the BFI Film Audience Network which aims to support a vibrant and self-sustaining exhibition sector, helping more people see more specialised and British film, more often. We'll be working with film exhibition partners across the region which includes Yorkshire, Cumbria, Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne & Wear, until 2017.

Young People’s Cinema

SMEC recognises the importance of introducing young people to diverse cultural cinema from an early age. Young people benefit from exposure to a diversity of voices, viewpoints, cultures, issues and ‘ways of seeing’ in media. SMEC aims to create a step change in children and young people’s film and moving image culture nationally which will result in a positive impact on the lives of current and future generations and, in the long term, re-balance the future of film and media production in the UK in terms of economics, geography and workforce diversity.

Showcomotion Film Festival for Young People has been presented almost every year since 1998 and presents a highly diverse and original programme of films for families, teens and schools which might not otherwise be seen in the UK. It offers awards for filmmakers selected by its two Youth Juries and by its audience.We piloted Showcomotion Films an innovative new distribution model for specialised cinema in 2012. We host the Children’s Media Conference in early July each year. We present a year-round programme of cinema and associated activities for children, teens and families.

Establishment of an Independent film sector

Showroom Workstation contributes to one of the ambitions of the Creative Industries Quarter; to establish a sustainable media and film sector in Sheffield. We work with partners such as Sheffield Hallam University, Creative Skillset, SHIFT, British Film Institute and independent producers to offer training and entrepreneurial opportunities to all levels and ages – from teens through to established professionals.

Part of our approach is to ensure we continually encourage aspiration to work in the film industry among young people and also to encourage post graduates to set up business operations in the city.

Our ethos is firmly behind the Independent approach to filmmaking – if you can borrow a camera you can make a film. We point to the example of Sheffield based warp Films who have had so much success as an Indie production company working regionally.

Documentary Film

In 1994 SMEC established an industry conference and film festival called The Sheffield Documentary Festival. The ambition behind this was to support documentary makers and to ensure that the British Documentary Film Industry remained the best in the world – given the amazing breadth and quality of documentary produced in the UK in the past. The festival had the support of the industry from its inception and grew each year attracting more and more producers, commissioners and young talented filmmakers to show their work and learn from each other. Now branded as the highly influential and successful Sheffield Doc/Fest it is operated by a separate board of directors and is arguably the most significant film festival in terms of market influence and international standing operating in the UK today and one of the three most important documentary festivals in the world.The festival has just celebrated its 20th edition, welcoming almost 3000 industry delegates to the city from all over the world.

www.sheffdocfest.com

Partners & Supporters

British Film Institute

Sheffield City Council

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Sheffield

Creative England

Europa Cinemas

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