The National Lottery funding goes to… Hyde Park Picture House

People outside Hyde Park Picture House
Its awards season for the film industry, but the last remaining gas-lit cinema in the UK is already a winner.

Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds has secured a National Lottery grant of £2.3million for work to begin on The Picture House Project. The redevelopment will secure the future of the 104-year old cinema for decades to come.

Silver screen survivor

First opened in 1914, the Grade II listed picture house is one of the UK’s oldest cinemas. It gained popularity by screening patriotic dramas and newsreels to boost morale during the First World War. The Picture House survived the advent of sound in the movies and continues to screen the best films from around the world.

Unique heritage features

The cinema’s nine gas lights, which were installed to deter any inappropriate behaviour in the back seats, continue to be lit every day. They will undergo essential refurbishment work to ensure they continue to flicker long into the future.

[quote=David Renwick, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber]“Hyde Park Picture House is not just a place to see wonderful stories on the silver screen, but is itself at the heart of many fantastic stories for the people of Leeds.”[/quote]

Thanks to National Lottery players, and match-funding support from Leeds City Council, the project will preserve and protect the cinema’s heritage.

The cinema will undergo essential conservation work and see the addition of new facilities, including a larger foyer and a second screen. It will also explore the cinema’s rich history through various events.

Commenting on the award, David Renwick, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber said: "Hyde Park Picture House is not just a place to see wonderful stories on the silver screen, but is itself at the heart of many fantastic stories for the people of Leeds, and even further afield.

"We’re thrilled that money raised by the National Lottery is being used to ensure that it continues to be a mainstay of the city’s rich, and still growing, cultural heritage. This is such a timely project given the recent news of Channel 4 moving to Leeds and to the momentum behind Leeds as a cultural centre.”

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The Heritage Lottery Fund also awarded the project a first-round pass* for a further £804,900. During the past three to four years the board has been working on plans to conserve the fragile and precious picture house building to celebrate its centenary which was on 26 May this year. The proposed