Cinemas (8 photos)

Memories of old cinemas of Leeds give us an insight into the leisure time of years gone by. This collection shows a few of the Picture Houses which no longer exist around the city and their change in style throughout the decades. Moving pictures first came to Leeds in 1905 when Sydney Carter hired the Coliseum theatre and concert hall on Cookridge Street to show his short season of animated pictures. They proved so popular that he bought the theatre at auction the following year and opened it as the first full-time cinema in Leeds. Cinema attendances increased rapidly over the next few years as it became a pastime that could be enjoyed by all social classes, with prices so cheap that the working classes were not excluded, and it was unusual in that it was an activity which women and children could enjoy as well as men. By 1939 there were 69 picture houses in the city. However their success was not to last and by the 1960s they were in decline as the popularity of television soared. Many became Bingo Halls, which also eventually fell into decline, or were converted into shops. We invite you to add your memories to this collection below each photograph.