“You can’t beat the old days” and “Golden age of cinema” are phrases batted about frequently, and with good reason. With Netflix and other streaming sites, the novelty and atmosphere of watching films is slowly disappearing. But one cinema in Headingley, Leeds really takes you back in time. Every detail of the Cottage Road Cinema is steeped in nostalgia. From the posters advertising new films to, deep and comfortable cinema seats.
The venue is said to be the oldest remaining and one of few independent cinemas in Leeds – as well as being one of the oldest cinemas in the UK, in that it has been continuously showing films since 1912.
It was originally a motor garage before being renovated during the 1900s by Owen Brooks, who was a pioneering film cameraman and had made short news films that were shown in the Tivoli Theatre in Leeds. The garage was an assembly shop for a Victorian mansion of a wealthy silk merchant in Castle Grove.
It was running partnership of Brooks and Reginald Smith, where it was known as Headingley Picture House. The pair did various conversions on the building and it ran successfully until Smith’s death in 1922.
In 1937, Associated Tower Cinemas purchased the space, later adding a balcony and changing the name to Cottage Road Cinema. The company has spent £20,000 modernising the cinema since 1972 and continues to maintain the historic building to this day.
Now a part of the Northern Morris Group, every six weeks it does ‘Classics at the Cottage’. Classic films shown include Cabaret, Casablanca, Some Like It Hot, The Godfather, Breakfast At Tiffany’s & Top Hat.
To see what’s on visit the website here.