The best independent cinemas within an hour of Leeds
With awards season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to put your feet up, grab a box of popcorn and catch up on all the latest releases that have set tongues in the film industry wagging.
Multiplexes may offer the luxury of a larger screen and a more varied programme, but sometimes you can’t beat the cosy comfort of a traditional cinema and there’s no shortage of independent screens to visit in and around Leeds.
Cottage Road Cinema
Opened in July 1912, Cottage Road is the oldest cinema in Leeds at almost 106 years old. While it may only be home to one screen, it shows a selection of the most current releases and hosts a special classics vintage films night every six weeks, which have included Casablanca, The Godfather and Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Visit: Cottage Road, LS6 4DD – cottageroad.co.uk
Hyde Park Picture House
Dubbed as ‘the cosiest cinema in Leeds’, the Picture House has been at the heart of the Hyde Park community since 1914, showing a varied programme of traditional arthouse, mainstream and classic films.
Popular for its snug, old-worldly feel, the grade II listed building still boasts many of its original features including its ornate Edwardian balcony, an external box office and gas lighting.
Visit: 73 Brudenell Road, LS6 1JD – hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk
This not-for-profit, volunteer run cinema was set up to bring the community of Oakwood and Roundhay together on a monthly basis to enjoy film screenings and meet new people in a welcoming social setting.
Held at the Parochial Hall, the cinema prides itself on bringing audiences the best of the cinema experience, with a big projection screen, big sound and plenty of popcorn, ice cream and refreshments.
Visit: Roundhay Parochial Hall, 5 Fitzroy Drive, LS8 4AB – oakwoodcinema.org
Cottage Road Cinema is the oldest cinema in Leeds and has been continuously screening films since 1912 (Photo: Cottage Road Cinema / Facebook)
Palace Picture House
Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is home to one of the smallest working 1920s cinemas in the world. Seating only 24 people, it offers a wonderfully cosy spot (and a slice of nostalgia) to sit back and enjoy the wonder of film.
Visit: Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Canal Road, LS12 2QF – leeds.gov.uk
With its luxurious sofa seating, state-of-the-art projection and audio technology, and fine selection of food and drink, this small, modern cinema has all of the homely comforts you’d find in your own living room.
Among the food menu, visitors can enjoy freshly ground barista coffee, handmade sandwiches and pizzas, noodle boxes, sweet treats and chilled Prosecco in the evenings.
Visit: 46A Leeds Road, Ilkley, LS29 8DP – ilkleycinema.co.uk
Wetherby Film Theatre
Originally opened as the Raby Picture House in 1915 to entertain the troops billeted in the town, the cinema continued to screen films until 1964 when it was sold and became a bingo club.
Having reopened as a cinema in 1993, it now shows a varied programme of the latest releases, foreign films and children’s features.
Visit: Crossley Street, Wetherby, LS22 6RT – wetherbyfilmtheatre.co.uk
This small local cinema in Thirsk first opened its doors in 1912 and has been successfully run by a team of volunteers since 1995. Combining a period feel with modern comforts and facilities, visitors can enjoy a cinema experience that brings together the old and the new.
Visit: 16A Westgate, Thirsk, YO7 1QS – ritzcinema.co.uk
The Rex Cinema
Boasting plenty of character and old-worldly charm, The Rex is one of the oldest purpose built cinemas in the UK, having first thrown open its doors in 1912. Visitors can enjoy a range of films throughout the week, with regular family and senior screenings, as well as special organ concerts on the third Sunday of every month.
Visit: Coronation Street, Elland, HX5 0DF – elland.nm-cinemas.co.uk
Hebden Bridge Picture House
Screening a varied programme of mainstream releases, arthouse and foreign films, along with broadcasts of live arts content, this snug 1920s cinema caters for all tastes and ages, and prides itself on its excellent personal service and cinema technology.
Visit: New Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AD – hebdenbridgepicturehouse.co.uk
Housed inside a converted 1930s car showroom, this unique, independent cinema shows an array of hot new releases, cult classics and documentaries, in addition to a year-round programme of events, with appearances from directors, producers and actors, making it an exciting place to visit for all film lovers.
Visit: Showroom & Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX – showroomworkstation.org.uk