Despite the outbreak of war in August 1914, the Hyde Park Picture House was built and opened ready for business on the 7th November 1914. The pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post were almost enitrely devoted to news of the war but a small advert announced the opening of the new Picture House. It proudly proclaimed itself to be "The Cosiest in Leeds" and to this day this is a title we try our best to live up to.
The first film to be shown at the picture House was Their Only Son, billed as a patriotic drama and was followed the next week by the famous invasion drama An Englishman's House. Although few new cinemas could be built during the war years audiences continued to grow. By September 1914 over 6000 men had enlisted in Leeds and the cinema provided news bulletins, war footage and morale boosting dramas as well as the escapism of lavish productions. In the years to come the cinema would become the highlight of many people's week.
A vibrant heart within the thriving Hyde Park community. Over time it became the backdrop to many little off screen dramas. It was a hot spot for young couples and many a romance blossomed in the back row. The advent of the talkies in the late 20's didn't hurt the stride of the little Picture House in the slightest and a quick conversion to sound was easilly enough achieved but the road was now open for many a new hurdle. The 30's saw the building of several new city centre 'super cinemas' capable of seating up to 3000 people at once.
The 50's saw the development of television. In the 80's it was video, the 90's was the new multiplex surge and the new millenium brought with it DVDs and the full power of the internet. BUT with all these changes the Picture House is all the more able to be a constant, a regular friendly face in an ever changing social landscape.
One of the landmark events in the history of the little Picture House happened in 1989 when Leeds City Council stepped in to save it from closure. The Picture House is now owned by Leeds City Council as part of the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Limited. This independent company within the council is dedicated to preserving, and securing the future of three of Leeds most historically and culturally significant venues, the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, The City Varieties and the Hyde Park Picture House. The Board of Trustees, Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd. The Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity (charity no 500408). It is governed by its memorandum and articles of association. The Board of Trustees comprises five elected members of Leeds City Council, one of whom is Chair of the Board, and two independent trustees. Two further independent trustees are being recruited.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin is a Leeds City Council member. She has represented Ardsley and Robin Hood ward (in the new Morley & Outwood constituency) since 2004. In May 2010 Councillor Mulherin was appointed Deputy Executive Board Member for Leisure. Before becoming a busy mum Cllr Mulherin had worked for Wakefield MDC, Leeds Metropolitan University and managed the constituency office of Harold Best MP. Her private interests include membership of Epilepsy Action.
Cllr Gerry Harper
Cllr Gerry Harper is the elected member for Hyde Park and Woodhouse
and is the Deputy Exec Board Member for Development. He is also the
Chair of the Leeds City Council Partnership Board, the Markets
Champion for Kirkgate Market and a member of the Lord Mayors Charity
Outside of the council he runs the constituency office of Fabian
Hamilton MP for Leeds North East. Other interests include, sport,the
arts and he is a keen walker, runner and enjoys swimming.
Cllr Adam Ogilvie Chair of the Board of Trustees, Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd
Cllr Adam Ogilvie is elected member for Beeston and Holbeck ward and is the Executive Board Member for Leisure. He is on the Board of South Leeds Community Radio Station and involved with a number of cultural community cultural events in south Leeds. Councillor Ogilvie has many interests including walking and is particularly keen to encourage more people to take part in the arts and other leisure activities.
Cllr John Procter
Cllr Procter is elected member for Wetherby ward. He is Chief Whip and Executive member for Leisure and is Chair of the Cultural Partnership. He also serves on the Board of Northern Ballet Theatre.
Cllr Robert (Bob) Gettings
Cllr Gettings is elected member for Morley North, representing the Morley Independent Party. He is also serves on Morley Town Council.Cllr Gettings is a governor of Drighlington Primary School and Bruntcliffe High School.
Dr Keith Howard
Keith Howard is Chairman of the Emerald Group, a Bingley company which is the world's leading publisher of management research. He is Chairman of the Opera North Future Fund charged with the task of supporting a range of Opera North initiatives. He is much involved in charity work having been chair of Life Education Bradford for a five year period until 2008 and a patron of Andrea's Gift, a charity devoted to the support of children with brain tumours.
Paul Scholey is Senior Partner at Leeds-based law firm Morrish Solicitors LLP. Paul has practised as a Solicitor in Leeds for nearly 25 years, providing advice and representation in the employment & industrial relations field to individuals across a wide range of industries and the professions.
He was Chair of Leeds CAB 2007 – 2012.
Roger Wood retired as HR Director for an international York based manufacturing company and Non Executive Director for a careers company. Apart from occasional consultancy assignments, he now undertakes wide ranging voluntary work and is employed as a part time guide in a well known stately home in North Yorkshire. Other than his affection for the theatre and the arts in general, he has a keen interest in sport especially in rugby and cricket.