Unknown future for ‘eyesore’ Leeds building

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A historic former cinema and bingo hall is facing an uncertain future.

Leeds City Council has revealed it features the old Tivoli cinema, in Acre Road, Middleton, on a list of eyesore properties it hopes to tackle after a councillor branded the derelict site as “dangerous”.

The Tivoli, which opened as a picture house in 1934 before hosting bingo for 48 years up until its 2009 closure, has been left to deteriorate in recent years and no longer has a roof.

Coun Kim Groves (Lab, Middleton Park) hopes the council can track down the private site’s owners to make the building safe through redevelopment or demolish it in a bid to ward off vandals.

She said: “I do think, to be honest, that it’s dangerous in that state – it’s been like that for seven months if not longer.

“The same happened to the Middleton Arms and that ended up suffering vandalism and was set on fire.

“It’s a real concern that the owners are not taking responsibility for that property.”

Last year the council announced its intention to tackle 40 derelict sites in Leeds as part of a £500,000 regeneration plan.

The cinema, which was mentioned in Keith Waterhouse’s first novel There Is A Happy Land, appears to be among the latest buildings to be made a priority.

Coun Groves said: “The Tivoli is another iconic building in the area but it’s past its time and has become a blot on the landscape.”

She said councillors welcome residents’ feedback as to what the Tivoli site should be used for.

The Tivoli opened on May 21 1934 with a screening of A Bedtime Story starring Maurice Chevalier and Baby Leroy.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the Tivoli cinema building and it is one of the derelict sites within the city that features on our list of eyesore properties that we want to tackle.

“We are in the process of progressing action on this building.”

To contact Coun Groves email: kim.groves@leeds.gov.uk

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