Hebden Bridge Picture House celebrates its 100th birthday and a programme launch of 24 event

One of the oldest cinema buildings in the UK recently celebrated its 100th birthday.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:00 am
Rebekah Fozard, Picture House Manager
Rebekah Fozard, Picture House Manager

Hebden Bridge Picture House played host to a reduced capacity audience and invited them to travel back through the decades with a re-enactment of the 1921 opening ceremony performed by players of Hebden Bridge Little Theatre and a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid.

Kate Higham, Chair of the Friends of the Picture House said: “It is poignant, I think, that when the Picture House doors swung open for the first time on 12th July 1921, the townspeople of Hebden Bridge were only just starting to re-engage with normal life after the Spanish Flu pandemic - just as we, today, are re-learning how to manage our lives in the time of COVID-19.

"Certain aspects of life must have seemed strange and tenuous then, just as they do to some of us today.”

Hebden Bridge Picture House celebrates its 100th birthday

The launch of the centenary programme of events, which is partly supported by the BFI, The National Lottery and Film Hub North and runs until June 2022, is made up of 24 further events.

The Heritage Open Day on September 11 will include the unveiling of the Friends of the Picture House new oral history listening post, a demonstration of the old BTH Projector now on permanent display at the back of the auditorium, the premiere of the 1924 and 1925 Hebden Bridge Carnival & Gala Films with new recorded score by Ben Burrows and discussion with local historian Diana Monahan, and a talk from a historic building surveyor about the looking after the listed building.

Rebekah Fozard, Picture House Manager, said: “We are delighted to have now launched the programme of events which include the premiere of the Friends of the Picture House Memories Film, The Hebden Royd Valley Story with Nick Wilding, Calderdale on Film presented by our friends The Yorkshire Film Archive, alongside a host of cinema classics such as Cinema Paradiso, Local Hero, Brassed Off, Back to the Future and so much more.

“Our centenary programme can be bought in-house now for £2, detailing all 24 events from July 2021 to June 2022. All sales of the programme will help to support the cinema after over 15 months of closure.”

Details of upcoming centenary events can also be found via the Picture House website and advance tickets for July and August are now available. The remaining events will be added throughout the year, as seating plan layouts may change dependent on Covid-19 restrictions.

Rebekah said: “So much of what we do here has not changed in the century we’ve been running, and I hope that this glorious building and the institution of the cinema will be at the heart of our community for many decades to come.”