12 iconic city centre venues which kept Leeds entertained

They are the iconic Leeds venues which gave city folk a reason to put on their glad rags down the decades.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 6:58 am
How many of these venues do you remember? PIC: YPN
How many of these venues do you remember? PIC: YPN

These photos showcase a wide range of places to enjoy a good time such as restaurants, cinemas, pubs, theatres and dance halls. Some have stood the test of time while others fell out of fashion. This collection of photos are sure to evoke memories for generations of city folk who enjoyed a break from the daily grind. They are a mix from the YEP archive, West Yorkshire Archive Service and others published courtesy of This photo is published courtesy of photographic archive Leodis, which is run by Leeds Library & Information Service. They also run heritage blog The Secret Library Leeds, which provides a behind the scenes look at the Central Library and highlights from its special collections, including rare books hidden away in the stacks. READ MORE: 29 Leeds pubs we have loved and lost LOVE LEEDS? LOVE NOSTALGIA? Join Leeds Retro on facebook

Housewives would drop in to the Kardomah Cafe on Briggate for a cuppa and snack, as a reward for slogging round the shops. Opened in 1908 and closed in August 1965.
Originally called Jacomelli’s Swiss Restaurant and Café on Upper Mill Hill it became a Berni Inn in 1967 where customers could enjoy prawn cocktail, steak and chips and black forest gateaux .

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One of Leeds’ oldest pubs, Whitelocks off Briggate down Turk's Head Yard has been a favourite haunt of both young and old for generations. The pub can trace its origins back to 1715.
Affectionately known as 'The Madhouse' by its staff and customers, the Market Tavern on Harewood Street in the city centre was demolished in 1995 to become a car park.
The last performance at the Empire Theatre - Babes in the Wood with Nat Jackley - before its closure in February 1961. It opened in August 1898 as the Empire Palace Theatre.
The Gaumont Cinema on Cookridge Street entertained generations of cinema-goers before closing in December 1961. Then became a Bingo Hall until 1969. It was the Town & Country Club between 1992 and 2000.
The Majestic on City Square opened in June 1922 and this photo shows the shows the seating and cinema's domed ceiling. Became a bingo hall in 1969, after closing as a movie theatre. The last film shown was The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
The Tatler Cinema in City Square as part of the Queen's Hotel building, next to the railway station. It opened as the 'News Theatre' in August 1938.
This cinema on The Headrow opened in February 1932 as the Paramount, and changed it’s name to The Odeon in 1940. A banner campaigning for the freedom to open cinemas on a Sunday.
This dance hall enjoyed a 30 year stay in the County Arcade before closing in 1969. A new Mecca opened up in the Merrion Centre in 1964.
Leeds’ very own original music hall dates back to 1865 on the site of the White Swan coaching inn. Famed for hosting the popular BBC TV show, The Good Old Days pictured here in May 1967.
This Leeds gem first opened in 1878. Renovated over three years in the mid-2000s which included the creation of the Howard Assembly Room.
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