A century of cinema has kept Leeds informed and entertained at a picture house like no other.
Hyde Park Picture House, in Brudenell Road, Leeds, has been a constant presence in the city since November 7 1914 and to celebrate its centenary a special evening of live music from the After Hours Rauchestra swing band, period screenings and newsreel showings has been organised to transport cinema goers back 100 years.
The ‘A Night at the Cinema in 1914’ event forms part of the 28th Leeds International Film Festival and is one of six free screenings at the Picture House taking place tomorrow.
When it opened the Grade II listed Picture House, one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in the UK, immediately had an important role in screening news bulletins and morale boosting dramas for families of Leeds servicemen who had just enlisted in the First World War.
Wendy Cook, Hyde Park Picture House’s general manager, said: “Getting to this point has only been made possible because of all the amazing support we’ve received over the years.
“So to the countless staff members and volunteers, the thousands of wonderful audience members and our many partners and friends in this fantastic city, we’d like to thank each and every one of you for helping us get this far. Here’s to the next 100 years.”
First screening the patriotic drama ‘Their Only Son’ on its opening night in 1914, the Picture House was described in the Yorkshire Evening Post as “the cosiest in Leeds” and has since managed to adapt to the evolving world of cinema.
Industry challenges such as the transition to sound, the competition from television, the multiplex boom and home entertainment were all overcome, although in 1989 the landmark had to be saved from closure by Leeds City Council.
The cinema has now developed a distinctive film programme, dedicated to screening the very best independent, art-house and classic films from around the world.
A second event has been planned to celebrate the centenary on November 22, when a film commissioned by the Picture House and arts organisation Pavilion by artists Luke Fowler and Mark Fell is screened.
For information on the 100th anniversary event and the rest of the film festival, which runs until November 20, visit: www.leedsfilm.com