The Winding Wheel, Holywell Street

This plaque was unveiled in March 2023. It was sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council.

The Winding Wheel, Holywell Street, is now owned by Chesterfield Borough Council and used as a popular entertainment centre.

It was originally opened as ‘The Picture House’ in 1923, before being closed for enlargement in 1930. At this date the auditorium was enlarged and a ballroom added at first floor level, with shops on the ground floor. For some years in the 1970s the ballroom was a well-known disco in Chesterfield.

Both phases of the building had a frontage in the ‘black and white’ style then favoured in Chesterfield for commercial and public buildings, using very high quality timber framing.

The cinema was renamed the Odeon in 1937. It remained Chesterfield’s grandest cinema, with very high quality decor inside, including much use of moulded plaster and polished woodwork. The former Regal (later ABC) cinema on Cavendish Street was larger but much less lavishly decorated.

The cinema finally closed in 1981. After some years empty, the entire premises were taken over by the borough council for conversion into a successful entertainment venue, reopening in 1987.

The original architect was Harold Joseph Sheppard, of Sheffield, who also designed the 1930s alterations. The property is listed Grade II.

There’s some sumptuous plasterwork at the Winding Wheel. This is the proscenium arch, pictured in March 2023.
More intricate plasterwork in the main auditorium at the Winding Wheel.
The impressive ballroom, with its top-light. For a short-period, before the complex closed in the early 1980s this was a popular night club – during which time the majority of the walls and celling were painted black!

This page last updated 3 March 2023.