Great news, Leeds City Varieties is the latest entertainment venue in Leeds to announce that it is reopening.

Another baby step towards what we remember as ‘normality’ which is now anything but, sees the Music Hall open its doors on 9th October. Sadly there will be no live performances in the near future but you can still enjoy an evening in this iconic building to watch a series of films.

Being part of Leeds Heritage Theatres it makes sense for them to screen these films as a part of their sister venue, Hyde Park Picture House’s On The Road series. I was fortunate enough to attend the announcement that the Hyde Park was to close for refurbishment back in January but in order to keep the independent film scene in Leeds going, they would be showing movies in other buildings across the city. Obviously that went by the board when we were locked down but now they are back.

In addition to favourites such as Withnail and I, and It’s A Wonderful Life – where would we be without that at Christmas – there will be screenings of Connor McPherson’s pre-recorded theatrical adaptation of Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov, and Beyond The Visible: Hilma of Klint, in partnership with Bird’s Eye View; a pathfinder for films by women, backed by the BFI.

Speaking of the BFI, there will also be previews of London Film Festival offerings, Mogul Mowgli and Ammonite, which is directed by The Picture House’s patron, Francis Lee, and presented in partnership with Leeds International Film Festival.

All of this is a million miles away from The Rock’n’Roll Pantomime, but what better way to start on the journey back to The Good Old Days?

There will obviously be strict COVID-19 protocols in place to make sure that everyone is safe during their time at the theatre but could I please implore you to disperse quickly from the doors of the theatre after the performance. I have recently been to an event where those leaving premises have stopped immediately after leaving the building to have a maskless chat with their friends, thus causing those behind to have to squeeze past them, putting all the hard work by the venue in jeopardy. Sermon over.

Tickets for all of the screenings are now on sale at

Photographs provided by Leeds Heritage Theatres

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