Five things: Hyde Park Picture House

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Think you know Hyde Park Picture House? Think again.

Completed in 1914, HPPH is one of the country’s oldest cinemas and is now Grade II-listed. It still has nine original gas lights in operation and is the only gas-lit cinema left in the UK.

It contains a piano beside the stage, two 35mmm film projectors and an ornate lamp outside the entrance

– which ia also Grade II-listed but no longer gas-powered.

The cinema’s period features have seen it used as a location in several TV dramas, including BBC One’s The Great Train Robbery, A is for Acid and Wetherby, starring Vanessa Redgrave.

During the war years, soon after its opening, patriotic films such as The Only Son and An Englishman’s House were popular. News bulletins and footage from the war were also shown.

In 1989, the picture house was threatened with closure until Leeds City Council stepped in. It is now part of the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House independent company.

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