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 entirely 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 the cinema does its best to live up to.
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 easily 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 DVD's 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.
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.