A project by

The Hyde Park Picture House

Supported by

The Heritage Lottery Fund

Celebrating & renewing

our historic cinema

The Picture House Project.

Looking up at lamp post outside of Hyde Park Picture House.

A bright future ahead.

103 years on from our opening night, the Hyde Park Picture House is embarking on an exciting new chapter.

Thanks to backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as continued support from Leeds City Council and our valued Friends and partners across the city, our Grade II listed cinema is being renewed.

The Picture House Project means looking backwards as well as forwards. It’s about celebrating our rich heritage as we ensure a bright future ahead. It’s about protecting and preserving our historic features, while at the same time making the building more sustainable, more comfortable and more accessible - as we strive to be the best place to experience film in Leeds.

The redevelopment of the Hyde Park Picture House is a Heritage Lottery Fund project supported by Leeds City Council

Project timeline.

Dec 2005

Early feasibility study

The Hyde Park Picture House commissions an earlier feasibility study, exploring the potential of development, in particular, the possibility of transforming the cinema’s basement into a second screen. The results confirm the potential for expansion.

Nov 2014

Cinema’s Centenary

Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera Ltd (the parent company of the Picture House), together with cinema management, mark the milestone by committing to look into ways to secure the building for the future.

May 2015

Friend’s pledge support

The Friends of Hyde Park Picture House pledge their support and funding, to commission a new feasibility study, which, if successful, would form the basis of a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Jul 2015

Feasibility study

DCA Consultants, Adam Richards Architects and Buro Happold Engineers are appointed to work on the new feasibility study, which will lead to significant structural surveying, cost estimates, audience consultation work and RIBA Stage 1 design proposals.

Feb 2017

Engineers appointed

DCA Consultants, Adam Richards Architects and Buro Happold Engineers are appointed to work on the new feasibility study, which will lead to significant structural surveying, cost estimates, audience consultation work and RIBA Stage 1 design proposals.

Mar 2017

Architects appointed

Glaswegian based practice Page\Park are appointed as architects for the project, based on their impressive track record of working with historic arts venues including Glasgow’s Theatre Royal. Eildh Henderson is assigned as the lead project architect.

Mar 2017

Further appointments

Further appointments to the design team are confirmed, including business and activity planners DCA Consultants, quantity surveyors Gardiner & Theobald and project management support from Turner & Townsend.

May 2017

Fundraising planning

A fundraising group is formed, consisting of staff, volunteers, Friends and partners. Consultant Anna Scrine facilitates a session to help form a fundraising strategy and a plan for raising additional money.

Jul 2017

Structural surveys

Structural surveys are carried out at the Picture House, including a 3D building survey, topographical survey, CCTV drainage & utilities. These are crucial in allowing engineers and architects to progress with the next stage of design work.

Sep 2017

Friends & board meetings

Lead architect Eilidh Henderson formally presents to a meeting of the Friends of Hyde Park Picture House, as well as the Board of the Picture House, updating them on the project’s progress, as well as sharing draft design proposals for feedback.

Oct 2017

HLF mid-stage review

The design team are to formally meet with the Heritage Lottery Fund, to update them on the progress of the project’s development phase. Updates will include prospective building works, conservation plans, as well as business and activity preparations.

Dec 2018

Planning approval

Following consultation and conversations with the relevant planning and heritage bodies, the project aims to secure planning approval, before formal submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund in the spring for Round 2 approval.


Match funding

Additional funding for the scheme secured.


HLF round 2 approval

The Project formally submits an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for Round 2 approval, allowing the works to commence.


Project tendering

Full project tendering to begin, relating to capital and refurbishment works.


Works commence

Full building works to be carried out, resulting in a period of cinema closure - during which time the cinema will continue to operate across other venues, with a touring film programme.



Following the completion of capital and refurbishment works, the cinema will re-open, and continue a programme of heritage related activity for the years to follow.

Project aims.

our aims

Protecting and preserving our historic cinema

Exploring, celebrating and conserving the cinema’s rich heritage lies at the very heart of this project. From refurbishing our unique gas-lights and Edwardian plasterwork, to maintaining our ability to project and share traditional analogue film formats - the project will ensure our historic Grade II listed cinema is preserved for many years to come.

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As the only remaining gas-lit cinema in the UK, our nine gas lamps are a key heritage feature. As well as refurbishing them we’ll also help preserve the skills required to maintain them, ensuring they keep flickering in our auditorium long into the future.


Elements of the cinema need urgent help to reinstate their former glory. From the ornate plasterwork and iconic clock in the auditorium, to exterior façade and original terrazzo tiles, we’ll sensitively clean, restore and refurbish features throughout the building.

35mm film.

Two 1960s Cinemeccanica projectors and a well-trained projection team enable our continued screening of film from 35mm prints. We’ll ensure equipment and skills are properly maintained, but also increase projection room tours to help share the history and tradition of film.


Row of seats in main cinema auditorium Row of seats in main cinema auditorium

our aims

A building open to everyone

A fundamental aim is for the Picture House to become a space that is truly accessible for all. This means implementing step-free access to all major parts of the cinema, providing better facilities including accessible toilets and working hard to remove non-physical barriers too - so that all audiences, regardless of their background, feel safe, comfortable and welcome in our building.

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Because of its age, our building isn’t adequately accessible. Steps at the main entrance mean people in wheelchairs enter through an awkward side entrance, and none of our toilets are step-free. We’re going to change this, creating step-free access to most of the building.

New facilities.

New toilets will be wheelchair accessible and offer baby changing facilities. Improvements will be made to our subtitling and audio description screenings, and a new café/bar area will put an end to early arrivals waiting outside in the cold.

A safe space.

Access barriers aren’t always physical. For visitors with autism or dementia, those who are deaf or blind, or who are old or young - going to the cinema can sometimes be a challenging experience. We’ll ensure these audiences are consulted and considered, so that our building welcomes everyone.


Looking down onto the stained glass and stairs from the upper floor. Looking down onto the stained glass and stairs from the upper floor.

our aims

Creating the best film watching experience in Leeds

Whether you’re into world cinema, timeless classics, or the latest award winner – we’ll be able to bring you more of what you love. A second screen in the basement will mean twice as many films, and a programme with even more variety. And with the refurbishment of our existing auditorium, including upgraded projection technologies and improvements in comfort, we’ll be the best place in Leeds for you to experience your new favourite film.

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A second screen.

Converting our existing basement into a permanent second screen seating 40-60 people will mean a programme with twice as many showings, and significantly more specialised film titles. That means more of the best foreign language, documentary and independent films being screened in Leeds.

More comfort.

Our main auditorium will receive much-needed refurbishment, maintaining character and heritage while improving comfort. Environmental performance will improve thanks to sophisticated new ventilation, allowing the cinema to be the right temperature whatever the weather.

Upgraded technology.

Our aim is to be a historic cinema but also a truly modern one, so we’ll maintain our 35mm projectors while upgrading our digital ones too. Investment in our sound system, cinema screen and dedicated team of projectionists means you’ll be seeing movies in their best possible light.


Rows of seats in the main auditorium. Rows of seats in the main auditorium.

our aims

A picture house that works for its community

With a building that’s open for longer, more accessible and able to provide more multifunctional space, we’ll be able to do more to serve our local community. From local schools and universities, to charities and community groups; this project will allow us to better fulfil one of our core aims: ‘for the cinema to be seen as a progressive cultural organisation, a safe space and an essential hub within our community’.

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A new café/bar.

Made possible by an extension along the long north side of the building, this will transform the way the cinema interacts with its community, quite literally opening up the building to provide a safe, welcoming space people can pop-in, hang-out and call their own.

Flexible spaces.

Our new spaces will be multifunctional. New breakout spaces will be available for use by the local community for workshops and meetings, and our new basement screen will support education and dialogue by additionally accommodating lectures, presentations and discussions.


We’ll create new partnerships to help us reach new audiences, developing learning programmes with schools to engage young peple, hosting more reminisce screenings for people who are older, and doing much more to involve Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic audiences.


Exterior shot of Hyde Park Picture House with terraced houses visible in distance. Exterior shot of Hyde Park Picture House with terraced houses visible in distance.

Project updates.


The story so far


Backed by friends


Meet the engineers

Coming soon

Meet the architects

Explore our history