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Hyde Park Picture House

Fascinating Facts

City Varieties Music Hall

  1. In 1941, a baby was born in the auditorium during a performance of ‘Babes in the Wood’. He was named Robin, after the main character in the show
  2. The decorative gold leafing on the balcony fronts and ceiling is real 23 carat gold
  3. When City Varieties first opened, there were no toilets, so instead sawdust was put on the floor
  4. Some famous names that have performed at City Varieties over the years include; Charlie Chaplin, Marie Lloyd, Vesta Tilley, Lily Langtry and more recently Michael McIntyre, John Bishop and Sooty!
  5. Madame Paula ‘The Reptile Queen’ brought her act of hypnotized alligators and snakes to City Varieties in 1897.

Leeds Grand Theatre

  1. The Grand sells more than 33,000 tubs of ice cream a year
  2. The Grand remained open during both World Wars. In WW2 the cellars were used as air raid shelters

Programme showing location of air raid shelters in the cellars of the Grand Theatre.  There were also shelters on New York Road, one on New Briggate and one on Harison Street.
Programme showing location of air raid shelters


  1. The first performance at The Grand in November 1878 was ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ by William Shakespeare
  2. George Corson, architect of The Grand, also designed the Central library and art gallery in Leeds
  3. You could fit 5 double-decker buses on top of each other on stage