All about us

Who Are We?

We’re a unique cultural hub situated in the heart of Sheffield – one of Europe’s largest independent cinemas paired with the longest-running creative business centre in the city. Housed in a converted 1930s car showroom, we’re situated right next to the railway station in Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter. Our beautiful Art Deco environs are an ideal setting for the innovative businesses homed at the Workstation, and a perfect place for the determinedly independent and cutting edge cinema of the Showroom.

The Showroom

Opening in stages between 1993-8, the Showroom has grown to become one of the most significant independent cinema venues in the world. Committed to presenting quality filmmaking through curated and tailored offerings, we strive to bring all types of cinema from across the world to our local audience. Determined to make a difference through film, we hold diversity, originality and artistic excellence up as the hallmarks of our film portfolio. That said, we’re also not averse to the odd cult classic – we’re all about entertaining our audience, and we’re part of Sheffield’s wider community. We don’t exist purely for profit, but to provide a distinctive, exciting and reliable place for our audience to relax, discover and be transported to other worlds.

More Than Just Films

We don’t just show films at the Showroom. We’re also involved in nurturing local talent, developing aspiration among local young people so they might follow a filmic career path and we educate all ages about all aspects of cinema. We host one of the most important documentary festivals on the planet, and have a year-round programme of amazing events, from celebrations of cult horror to live appearances from film directors, producers and actors from around the world. Far more than the average cinema, the Showroom is a true home to film, a cultural leader for our region; we’re knowledgeable and passionate about film as an art-form. We are also 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.

A Charitable Proposition

The Showroom’s parent company is a registered charity which exists to support educational and cultural provision for Sheffield and the surrounding area. Concerned with supporting and developing the independent film sector in the region, the Showroom, along with the Workstation, provides facilities, training opportunities and engagement.

The Workstation

Workstation sunset

A hothouse for the creative and digital industries, the Workstation houses over 60 companies working with clients locally, regionally and internationally. A beautiful and inspirational place to work, both its location and striking architecture make this the perfect venue for modern, dynamic enterprises.

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.

Dementia friendly screenings

On the last Tuesday of every month at midday, we screen a film from our regular programme in an environment designed to suit the needs of people living with dementia. The lights are left on low and the sound is turned down to make our cinema more accessible for all.

Everyone is welcome, including families and carers, and we would particularly like to reach out to people affected by early on-set dementia. We proudly accept the Access Card and CEA card.


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.

Our favourite places partnership

Our Favourite Places

We're proud to work in partnership with Our Favourite Places.

Planning a trip to Sheffield? Take a look at Our Favourite Places, the Sheffield city guide with a creative heart. You'll find features on art, theatre, film and music, plus festival previews, guides to eating & drinking, shopping and the great outdoors. In short, everything you need for a fantastic Sheffield trip: 

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.

Partners & Supporters

British Film Institute

Sheffield City Council

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Sheffield

Creative England

Europa Cinemas


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