Leeds City Council is looking for an architect to regenerate its Grade II-listed Hyde Park Picture House – the UK’s last remaining gas-lit cinema
Backed by the cinema’s operator, Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, the £3.6 million project will ‘conserve and improve’ the Edwardian landmark which is also the city’s oldest purpose-built cinema.
The chosen team will conserve the historic building and deliver urgent repairs while also improving accessibility and upgrading the foyer and box office.
According to the brief: ‘The picture house is a special building of nationally significant heritage, held in great affection amongst the local community. But in common with many older buildings, it faces challenges in the conservation of historic fabric, in celebrating its history, meeting customer expectations and generating income to sustain the cinema in the future.
‘Accessibility is a major challenge; at present there is no access to the foyer, disabled customers have to enter the cinema from external doors by a bin store at the front of the auditorium, and there are no accessible toilets. This project will comprehensively address these challenges to ensure a conserved and celebrated, fully accessible building and a sustainable operation and maintenance plan for the future.’
The cinema was designed by Thomas Winn & Sons and completed in 1914. It occupies a prominent corner plot at the junction of Brudenell Road and Queen’s Road in the Hyde Park area of Leeds.
Leeds City Council took over the building when it was threatened with closure in 1989, creating Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House as an independent company to operate the cinema and other local venues.
The building retains its original gas lighting, external box office and balcony, although recently improved seating arrangements saw its capacity reduced from 400 to 275.
The restoration project will deliver a new fully accessible entrance and accessible toilets while also renewing the building’s entire electrical and mechanical system to improve audience comfort and environmental efficiency.
It will also deliver a new food and drink area, exhibition space, a second screening room for education and community use, and improved office area and storage facilities.
The selected team – featuring an architect and principal designer, structural engineer, mechanical and electrical engineer and fire engineer – will develop plans from RIBA Stage 0 to 7.
The deadline for applications is noon, 16 February.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Leeds City Council
St George House
Tel: 0113 378 5976