Leeds: Five Filming Facts

31st July 2019

Leeds has been at the forefront of film for over a century, and today more than ever the city is featuring on our screens …


1. The world’s first moving pictures were filmed in Leeds in October 1888. French-born Louis Le Prince shot three separate sequences; the first of his son, parents-in-law and a friend walking around the garden, the second of pedestrians and carriages on Leeds Bridge, and the third of his son Adolphe playing the accordion.
IMAGE: Louis Le Prince – credit BBC


2. The Hyde Park Picture House is over 100 years old and the only remaining gas lit cinema in the UK. It opened during the First World War and showed newsreel reports from the frontline to families back home. The Grade II listed building retains many original features including the ornate balcony and external box office.
IMAGE: Hyde Park Picture House


3. The ABC Murders shown over Christmas 2018 was filmed in Leeds; it featured Leeds Town Hall, the City Varieties Music Hall, Victoria Leeds and the Quebec and Queens Hotels, as well as locations throughout Yorkshire. John Malevich starred as Hercule Poirot with the cast including Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald and Andrew Buchan.
IMAGE: ABC Murders – City-Varieties (credit – Screen Yorkshire)


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Official Secrets, to be released in October, was filmed across Leeds and the surrounding area. Based on true events, it tells the gripping story of Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), a British intelligence specialist who in the lead up to the Iraq War defied the government and leaked a memo to the press; beginning an explosive chain of events.
IMAGE: Official Secrets – Leeds city centre (credit Screen Yorkshire)


5. One of Britain’s best-loved screenwriters Kay Mellor was born and bred in Leeds, and many of our local landmarks feature in her screen dramas. Kay attended Bretton Hall College in Yorkshire and has written and produced both theatre and TV favourites from Band of Gold, Playing the Field, Fat Friends, The Syndicate to Love, Lies and Records.
IMAGE: Love, Lies and Records – Leeds City Museum (credit – BBC)