Work to stabilise the 106 year old National Picture Theatre will begin this month

National Picture Theatre
Opened on 23 December 1914, the National Picture Theatre on Beverley Road was destroyed by German bombs in 1941.

Local contractors Hobson & Porter will arrive on site on Monday 16th March and spend around a month at the National Picture Theatre on Beverley Road in order to complete remedial work.

This work is required to prepare the site for future conservation and repair works to the remains of the grade II listed cinema.

Currently in the second round development stage of a National Lottery Heritage Fund application, long term plans for the site includes repair and conservation works, as well as the restoration of the façade of the building alongside its heritage features.

Behind the entrance, the space where the auditorium once stood will be used to create flexible space to be used for events and as an education centre and war memorial open to the public, enabling future generations to learn about the life of civilians in the Second World War.

The bid is being led by Hull City Council in collaboration with the National Civilian WW2 Memorial Trust who will manage the theatre once restored.

If successful, a grant of £289k from the National Lottery Heritage Fund would be secured alongside a council contribution of £188k to deliver the project in full.

Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for economic investment, regeneration and planning, land and property said: “The building is incredibly important to Hull so it is imperative this work goes ahead to protect the remains.

“It is listed nationally and is the last surviving civilian bomb-damaged building from the Second World War.

“We are working hard to ensure the bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is as comprehensive as possible and already have overwhelming support from residents.”

A questionnaire to find out more about what the public know about the National Picture Theatre is currently open and includes the option to sign up to receive future news on the project. It can be found here.

Alongside the remedial work, the project will be discussed by councillors at an Economy and Investment Overview and Scrutiny Commission next week (12 March) including discussion on the long-term management and maintenance of the site.

The second stage of the bid will be submitted at the end of August with a result expected in the autumn.

The former National Picture Theatre was designed by architects Runton and Barry for the De-Luxe Theatre Company and was constructed in 1914. The building was badly damaged during a Luftwaffe air raid on 18 March 1941, although none of the 150 people inside the cinema at the time were killed or seriously injured. The building has remained unused since then.

[Jenny Langrick – Hull City Council]