Classic Leeds

City Square,
Leeds, LS1 4DS

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Queens Hotel, former cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Cecil Masey, a famous cinema designer, was the architect of the small and elegant News Theatre, which opened August 22nd, 1938. It is situated in the basement of the Queens Hotel, Queens Building right next to the main Railway Station and it lasted as a news theater until 1966.

Following a name change to Classic Cinema it became a regular cinema until 1969 when, like some other cinemas in the Classic chain it was rebranded the Tatler and began screening erotic films. In 1979 it reverted to the Classic name and more respectable programming.

It closed sometime in the 1980’s and became the Bondi Beach Bar. By the summer of 2007 this had closed and the building has been boarded-up.

It is a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

hilarie
hilarie on November 18, 2004 at 11:46 am

Ian – do you have any more photos of this theater? I am working on doing a series of paintings of theaters and would like to paint this one.

capnb
capnb on November 25, 2004 at 10:38 pm

Hilarie – I can get over there and take you some photos of the exterior of you like, not sure I can get into the interior tho ;) Drop me a private mail to joel at fotopic dot net.

Ian
Ian on December 1, 2004 at 3:46 pm

Hilarie – Sorry only just seen your comment. Have no other pics (but like Joel I could take some for you). The one above is slightly cut-down in size. Send your e-mail address to if you would like a copy of the original. Is this a project covering specific types / areas? I have loads of other cinema pics …..

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on April 11, 2007 at 12:20 am

Will some kind person in England PLEASE explain this “grading I, II, III” system and what it means in terms of history, protection, etc?
Thank you.

Ian
Ian on April 11, 2007 at 5:56 am

From the English Heritage Website:–

Why do we list?

The word ‘listing’ is a short-hand term used to describe one of a number of legal procedures which help English Heritage to protect the best of our architectural heritage. When buildings are listed they are placed on statutory lists of buildings of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, on advice from English Heritage.

Listing is not intended to fossilise a building. A building’s long-term interests are often best served by putting it to good use, and if this cannot be the one it was designed for, a new use may have to be found. Listing ensures that the architectural and historic interest of the building is carefully considered before any alterations, either outside or inside, are agreed.

Why are buildings chosen?

We select listed buildings with great care. The main criteria used are:

  • architectural interest: all buildings which are nationally important for the interest of their architectural design, decoration and craftsmanship; also important examples of particular building types and techniques, and significant plan forms
  • historic interest: this includes buildings which illustrate important aspects of the nation’s social, economic, cultural or military history
  • close historical association with nationally important buildings or events
  • group value, especially where buildings comprise an important architectural or historic unity or are a fine example of planning (such as squares, terraces and model villages)

The older and rarer a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most built between 1700 and 1840. After that date, the criteria become tighter with time, because of the increased number of buildings erected and the much larger numbers which have survived, so that post-1945 buildings have to be exceptionally important to be listed. Buildings less than 30 years old are only rarely listed, if they are of outstanding quality and under threat. See See post-war listing.

Why are there three grades?

Listed buildings are graded to show their relative importance:

  • Grade I buildings are those of exceptional interest
  • Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest
  • Grade II are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them

There are 370,000 or so list entries currently protected by listing, and of those by far the majority – over 92% – are Grade II. Grade I and II* buildings may be eligible for English Heritage grants for urgent major repairs.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on April 14, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Dear Ian:
Very many thanks for your clearly understood explanations. I truly wish there was something like your “system” in effect in the USA… but “No” we do not… yet!
As soon as something is old (say 30 years or so) this generation of numbskulls we sadly spawned start the destruction process in favor of a replacement that’s as exciting to look at as cold mashed potatoes.
And so the insane cycle continues.

Ian
Ian on October 12, 2007 at 5:13 pm

The bar in the former Classic cinema has now closed and the building is boarded up.

Ian
Ian on December 14, 2007 at 12:58 pm

The building has been sold and is to be converted to a lap-dancing club.

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