Picture Playhouse

Beverley, HU17 8BB

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Beverly Picture Playhouse

The Picture Playhouse opened its doors to the public as a cinema in 1911 by Ernest Symonds, a local entrepeneur and film maker. It was converted from Beverley’s Corn Exchange which was built in 1865 and is situated in the Market Place at the corner of Ladygate. Originally seating 425 on a flat floor it now seats considerable less but has had raked seating introduced, apart from that, it is basically unaltered.

The Picture Playhouse was also a major venue for live music in East Yorkshire. It closed in September 1963 but was re-opened in April 1982. It was the only surviving cinema in the town, the 1916 Marble Arch Cinema and the 1935 Regal Cinema have both been demolished.

In 2002 it began to suffer from competition from Hull’s multiplex cinemas and closed in 2003. It was converted into Browns Department Store.

The Picture Playhouse is a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ian on October 15, 2004 at 11:31 am

The Picture Playhouse closed in 2003 and is very likely to be stripped out and converted into retail space. At present (October 2004) the stage, screen and front stalls seats have been removed, and a planning application is almost certain to approve the removal of the balcony and change of use to retail.

Ian on April 17, 2005 at 4:31 pm

Following 111 objections the planning application to turn the Picture Playhouse into retail use was refused. The owner is to appeal against the decision.

Ian on April 17, 2005 at 4:50 pm

Recent pictures of the interior can be viewed at


there was no electricity in the derelict and partially stripped out building so the quality is not great – but the unique balcony, the screen frame and some idea of the decor can be gained.

Ian on September 24, 2008 at 5:24 am

Three photos taken during the building works in the former Picture Playhouse, September 2008.

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Ian on May 7, 2009 at 4:04 am

A couple of vintage photos showing the interior of the Picture Playhouse whilst it was still operating. They are scanned images from the late 1980’s



kenny57 on January 25, 2018 at 3:58 am

I saw Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes here in 2002

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