The Picture House Project: revamping an iconic Leeds cinema

The Picture House Project: revamping an iconic Leeds cinema

The front exterior of Hyde Park Picture House
The newly restored and renovated front of Hyde Park Picture House Credit: Ellen Hunter

Heritage Grants

LEEDS, Yorkshire and The Humber
Leeds
The Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd
£2442100
The Hyde Park Picture House is one of the UK's oldest and most treasured cinemas – now restored to its former glory, and updated for a new generation of visitors.

Following its centenary in 2014, the Picture House Project was set up to improve the cinema’s accessibility and sustainability.

Thanks to support from the Heritage Fund, the 109-year-old cinema has been successfully restored and updated, reopening to the public on 30 June 2023.

The venue is at the heart of many fantastic stories for the people of Leeds, and even further afield.

Helen Featherstone, Director of England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Unique heritage features 

Over the past two years, works have included repairs to the façade and external lamppost and the restoration of original terrazzo flooring. 

The most unique aspect is the refurbishment of its nine gas lights, which will be lit for every screening. Hyde Park Picture House is the last remaining gas-lit cinema in the UK, and it is thought it could be the last one in the world.

The inside of the cinema screen with rows of red seats, gold gilt arches across the ceiling and early 20th century light fittings
The 109-year-old cinema still has its original nine gas lights. Credit: Ellen Hunter

 

Updating the past for the future

The project has introduced new accessible facilities, including a ramped entrance, café bar, Community Room, platform lift and wheelchair accessible toilet. 

The front of the cinema with an accessible ramped entrance
Project works at Hyde Park Picture House included a new ramped entrance. Credit: Ollie Jenkins


The cinema also boasts a new 50-seat second screen, located in the cinema’s basement, so it can screen even more films from around the world.

Helen Featherstone, Director of England, North at the Heritage Fund, said: “Hyde Park Picture House is absolutely a place to see captivating stories on the silver screen. The venue is at the heart of many fantastic stories for the people of Leeds, and even further afield. We can’t wait for the doors to reopen for the community to enjoy this special place once more and continue to build on that important heritage for future generations.”

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