Oh how I love cinema! My new guilty pleasure is quite a ways away from where I live, but it’s always nice to have a trip to downtown Headingley, isn’t it? Next up in my diary is Queen Elizabeth with Sarah Bernhardt! Isabella has seen it and already wrote me a long letter full of wonder and excitement about the amazing costumes Bernhardt and Romaine wear. I can hardly wait to see!
I still remember when the place was nothing but Mr. Kirk’s stables before a certain Owen Brooks took over. Now, Mr Kirk is a friend of my uncle Tibby and it is some riotous fun when those two get together to play chess just to get angry and squabble over pawns! Anyway, for a while Mr Brooks used it as a motor garage and motorcycle assembly shop for years but then he just turned all his energy and money to establishing a film theatre in Headingley. He is apparently a pioneering film cameraman, and made short news films for showing at the Tivoli Theatre here in Leeds. Then, earlier this year, this Mr Brooks was joined in partnership with Reginald Smith and the pair converted the building into the Headingley Picture House! This is really good for me, because I can watch films without having to stop and chat with everyone and their mother like one does in the Tivoli. It is pleasant to have a social life, but can also be tiresome. Neither complaint, nor bragging, but I certainly seem know everyone in Leeds – at least it feels like it when I go to the cinema!
The cinema, now called Cottage Road Cinema, is now among very few UK cinemas to have been in continuous use for a century. The event will be marked on July 29, with a special screening of The Smallest Show on Earth (1957, starring Margaret Rutherford, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna) the unveiling of a blue heritage plaque, and “a bit of a do” as one understated supporter described the planned celebration.
You don’t have to wait another day to see the divine Bernhardt! Watch the whole film in six parts!