Tracing the Origins, Evolution, and Failure of the Cultural Vision for the Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre (1988-1995) Through Archival Research

FENWICK, James (2021). Tracing the Origins, Evolution, and Failure of the Cultural Vision for the Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre (1988-1995) Through Archival Research. Screen.

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    Abstract

    The Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre—what eventually become the Showroom Cinema and Workstation—was the envisaged plan for a new complex of office spaces, seminar rooms, retail outlets, cafes and bars, and a cinema. It served as the flagship of Sheffield City Council’s efforts to regenerate the urban core of the city by the late 1980s and early 1990s. This article examines the motivations of the Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre Board of Directors between 1988 and 1995, charting the evolution of the plans and vision for the centre. Using archival sources to reconstruct its history, the article argues that the Board was reconceiving what the architectural space of a cinema meant within a post-industrial urban centre, particularly within the context of a northern, deindustrialised British city like Sheffield. The Media Centre was being developed as the ‘public focus’ of the city’s Cultural Industries Quarter (CIQ) and as a transparent urban space for all the people of Sheffield. The article argues that the early plans for the Showroom indicate radical urban potentialities, but that these plans ultimately failed due to a broader range of vested commercial and political interests.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media; Communication & Media Studies
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 10:24
    Last Modified: 27 Jan 2021 10:30
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28046

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