The City Varieties auditorium showing the projector on stage. On the projector there is a 'Welcome Back' message.

Welcome back to City Varieties Music Hall

Until 19 July, we are still legally required to ask all people coming into the building to either check in with the Track and Trace app or sign in to the building. It also remains a legal requirement to wear a face mask inside. Please continue to be considerate to both our team and other audience members.

For youpeace of mind, you will find detailed information below about all the steps we have, and continue to, put in place, and what you can expect when you visit* (bear with us, there is a lot, but all necessary). We are committed to making you and our employees feel comfortable whilst in our building, and whilst we think we have covered all areas, if, for any reason, you think we could be doing better, please contact us at 

*All steps follow health and safety measures set out by the government and Public Health England. We have also worked with RB Health and Safety Solutions to ensure best practice. 

See it Safely mark from UK Theatres

Our safety measures in brief


Things we are doing to help you

Reduced capacity and socially distanced seating

Staggered arrival times and temperature checks

Clear signage and additional staff help

Additional cleaning and PPE

Hand sanitiser stations

Clear guidance on refunds

Things you can do to help us

Don’t visit if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 

Book your ticket online and use contactless payment in the venue

Keep a safe distance 

Wear a mask or face covering unless eating or drinking

Wash your hands regularly 

Check-in using the QR code scanner

Find out more…

Things we are doing to help you

Reduced capacity and socially distanced seating

All areas of the theatre, including our auditorium and bar have been reconfigured to make social distancing possible. We remain fully accessible. You can find all our access information online here

We advise any visitor, who knowingly may have reason to leave the auditorium during the screening/live performance, to book aisle seats or seats close to the aisle to avoid disrupting other audience members. Seated audience members do not need to vacate the row but must stand to allow others to pass


  • The number of seats in the auditorium have been reduced to ensure visitors have enough space around them to socially distance. We are operating two different configurations – one for screenings, and one for live performance. These arrangements will allow us to keep everybody safe, whilst maximising capacity 
  • Screenings
    • Seats will be sold in pairs with two seats left empty in between – these seats will be clearly marked. We ask that if you come in larger groups (no more than six peopleyou do not move into the empty seats to be next to each other as this has a knock-on effect to the people in the next row. Please trust us on this
  • Live performance
    • We are operating a ‘chessboard style’ seating arrangement, whereby every other seat will be left empty – these seats will be clearly marked. This does mean that you won’t be sat directly next to the person/people you have come with but there will only be one seat in between. We ask that you do not move into the empty seat next to you as this has a knock-on effect to the people in the next row. Please trust us on this
  • For access and wheelchair spaces, please contact


  • We endeavour to open both our Stalls and Circle bars, but are offering an ‘in seat’ drinks service, whereby you will be able to order drinks/snacks via an app and a member of staff will deliver them to your seat. A QR code displayed in the venue will take you to the app. We will be running a reduced drinks menu for the immediate future to aid speed of service
  • If our bars are open, we are operating a queuing system that is clearly identified by socially distanced markers on the floor and rope system. Screens are in place, and we are only accepting contactless methods of payment – no cash. There is no seating in the Circle bar; all drinks must be consumed in your seats – we advise you stock up (sensibly) to save too many trips! 


  • In line with government guidance, masks/face coverings must always be worn in the building (seated and moving around), unless when eating or drinking, or you have an exemption (including children aged 10-years or younger). Screens are not in place in the auditorium as we do not want to block any visitors view 
  • A lift to all floors is available with a maximum occupancy of two people. We ask that visitors be considerate of those with access needs and take the stairs when possible
  • All our toilets will be open during your visit, including an accessible toilet at Stalls level. Our toilets will be manned by a member of staff to help control the amount of people using them and several sinks (in both the men’s and women’s toilets) have been placed ‘out of order’ to help maintain social distancing. We politely ask visitors to use the toilets in a timely fashion and not wait for family/friends


Socially distanced arrival times and temperature checks at City Varieties

We are operating staggered arrival times at The Varieties to help with social distancing – these are clearly marked on your tickets and we ask that you adhere to them as much as possible

When you arrive, a queuing system will be in place, clearly marked with socially distanced markers and ropes. This queue will be outside so please come prepared for the Great British weather! We ask that you have your ticket (PDF or on your phone) ready to be scanned to save time. Your temperature will be taken by a member of our staff and we will also be conducting bag searches – we ask that you don’t bring large bags as The Varieties does not have a cloakroom to store them or other items. Information about where you can store large bags in Leeds city centre can be found at Radical Storage

Clear signage and additional staff

COVID-19 safety signage is displayed throughout our buildings to help signpost key areas and navigate our venues in the safest and easiest way

We have increased the numbers of staff working on every shift to help manage our additional safety measures and procedures. All staff have also been given extra training in COVID-19 compliance regulations, and will continue to wear face masks and/or visors. We ask that you are respectful of them and help make them feel safe too. Thank you

Additional cleaning and PPE

As well as our usual high levels of cleaning, we have introduced additional measures to ensure our buildings are as clean and safe as possible at all times, including having a team on hand to clean public areas and toilets once the performance/screening has started to ensure they are clean for the interval (if applicable), or when exiting the building. In line with guidelines, our venues will also be ‘fogged’ on a regular basis using an antiviral fogging machine as an extra precaution

Staff will be wearing masks and visors, and screens have been installed in our Box Office and bars

Hand sanitiser stations

Keeping your hands clean and avoiding touching your face are two of the best defences against COVID-19. We have installed hand sanitiser stations at the entrance, exit and around our buildings, and ask visitors to use them, as well as washing their hands thoroughly and regularly

Things you can do to help us

Don’t visit if you have any symptoms of COVID-19

We ask that visitors do not attend our venues if:

  • you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms outlined on the NHS website
  • you’ve tested positive for COVID-19
  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive (unless you are not required to self-isolate)
  • you’ve been told to self-isolate following contact with someone who tested positive (unless you are not required to self-isolate)

Book your ticket online

We recommend that you book online wherever possible – if you are not able to, you can contact us on 0113 243 0808, Monday-Saturday from 10am-8pm. We do not advise visitors to book in person; booking online helps to minimise contact and keep everybody safe, and also guarantees you a seat

Use contactless payment whilst in the venue

We are accepting contactless payment only at our bars and merchandise kiosks. The only exception is our ice cream stands in the City Varieties’ auditorium and at Circle level where it is cash only.

Keep a safe distance

The chance of infection increases the closer you are to people. We are asking visitors to maintain a 1 metre plus distance wherever possible from other visitors who are not members of your household or support bubble. We have signage, queuing systems and additional staff in place to help you navigate our space in the safest and easiest way

Wash your hands regularly

Please keep your hands clean by washing them regularly or using our hand sanitiser stations which have been installed around the building

Check-in using the QR code scanner

All customers MUST download the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app and check-in to our venue by scanning the QR codes at the entrance. If you, or a member of your party, is unable to scan the QR code, your name and telephone number will be recorded manually by a member of staff and held on record for 21 days. This process is mandatory as sanctioned by the government. We are within our rights to refuse entrance to anybody who doesn’t comply

Whilst you have already agreed to us collecting your data when booking your tickets online or in person, scanning the QR code is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from coronavirus. For more information go to