90-year-old cinema gets a new lease of life

THE way has been cleared for town councillors to takeover Hebden Bridge Picture House.

Calderdale Council Cabinet has agreed to transfer the 90-year-old building to Hebden Royd Town Council which intends to widen its use and carry out major repairs.

Ian Cooper (Con, Todmorden) said it was a sensible move that would give the local community control of a popular and well-used building.

The town council will run the cinema in partnership with a group of enthusiasts who have produced a business plan to show how it can have a viable future without a subsidy from Calderdale Council.

The Picture House shows between 15 and 26 films a month and attracts an audience in excess of 1,000 people every week.

The town council wants to make more use of the building during the day, for it to host education events and to introduce equipment to enable 3D and high definition films to be shown.

Councillors were told that the building includes two shops which will help to provide additional income.

At least £100,000 needs spending on electrical work, £134,000 on the fabric and £75,000 on decorating it in side and out.

Town council clerk Jason Boom said: “The Picture House has an exciting long-term future as one of the jewels in the town’s crown.”