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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.
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