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30/09/20 City Varieties Music Hall to reopen

30/09/20 City Varieties Music Hall to reopen

We are pleased to announce that City Varieties Music Hall will reopen from Friday 9 October 2020, welcoming back audiences with an exciting new film programme, presented in collaboration with sister venue Hyde Park Picture House.

Opening her doors for the first time since March 17th, our world-famous music hall will screen some of the best live and as-live theatre performances, alongside previews of award-winning new independent films, as part of The Picture Houses’ On The Road programme. Upcoming highlights include:

  • BFI London Film Festival Previews of Mogul Mowgli and Ammonite (directed by The Picture House’s patron, Francis Lee), presented in partnership with Leeds International Film Festival
  • Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint, in partnership with Birds Eye View; a pathfinder for films by women, backed by the BFI
  • A pre-recorded screening of Conor McPherson’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya
  • Cult classic, Withnail and I starring Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths
  • Family and Hyde Park Christmas favourite, It’s a Wonderful Life

Wendy Cook, Head of Cinema, said: The cinema’s On the Road programme was always envisioned as being a way of taking the Picture Houses’ programme into different spaces so we’re really excited to be working in the City Varieties. After six months away, it’s lovely to be finding our feet again in the comfort of family.”

The announcement comes six months after all three Leeds Heritage Theatres venues closed their doors as a result of the pandemic with an immediate loss of 99% income. Chris Blythe, CEO, said: “The decision to reopen has not been an easy one, especially in light of the most recent guidance regarding local restrictions, however, we have long had a date in mind for reopening and I am confident that we have the most stringent COVID-safety measures in place to provide a safe and comfortable environment for visitors to enjoy film and staff to work.

“The team and I have discussed at length the implications of reopening; it is well documented that the arts is suffering country-wide, but essentially it comes down to a commitment and duty of care to our visitors, staff and young people involved with our Learning programme. As well as trying to return to some normality for business continuity and financial reasons (we are still waiting to hear if we have been successful in our bid for emergency funding from the government), arts and culture is needed now more than ever to help boost people’s mental health and build community through shared experience as we all try to find some escapism from our day-to-day and ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19.”

To see full programme and book tickets

*A grant provided by The National Lottery Heritage Fund of £ 119,900 has helped to address the impact of COVID-19 and has been used to fund re-opening costs across The Grand and City Varieties, including additional signage, sanitiser stations and PPE.