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Exterior of City Varieties

Exterior of City Varieties


The longest running music hall in Britain, now mainly a variety theatre with family shows, live music, top stand-up comedy, hypnotism, psychic shows and Christmas panto.

This historically important venue was originally built in 1865 as an extension to the music room of the White Swan Inn and remains culturally significant as a surviving example of a Victorian Music Hall. Despite numerous ownership and name changes, the City Varieties, as we know and love it today, has remained virtually unchanged since the late 19th Century.

Built in 1865, this much loved venue, hidden in the heart of Leeds city centre, has survived virtually unchanged across three centuries while most other Victorian Music Halls have passed into history. The City Varieties was the location for the television series of 'The Good Old Days' and still operates a music hall season twice yearly in April and October. The Edwardian circle bar exhibits photographs of variety stars, past and present.

The theatre underwent a major refurbishment between 2009 and 2011, including a complete demolition and then reconstruction of the backstage areas, painstaking ceiling and plasterwork repairs, new carpeting and seating throughout the auditorium and major excavations to re-establish the ancient cellar network.


Take a tour of City Varieties and absorb its fascinating history. What was once a rowdy music hall packed to the gunnels is now a glamourous and legendary venue that is a favourite for many of its performers and visitors.
These tours are a fantastic opportunity to visit such a prestigious theatre outside of show time and provide an experience and understanding that can only be achieved by coming and soaking up the atmosphere first-hand.
Please note that the City Varieties is a working building and access to all areas is not guaranteed.

Dogs acceptedFacilities for hearing impairedFacilities for visually impaired

Opening details

See website for shows, times and prices.


See website for shows, times and prices.

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

date event
Fri 31 Jan - Sat 1 Feb John Shuttleworth's Back!
Wed 4 Mar Tom Rosenthal: Manhood
Mon 16 Mar Marisha Wallace
Wed 18 Mar Clinton Baptiste in The Paranomalist Returns




See location of City Varieties Music Hall on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 302337  Lat: 53.79874 Long: -1.54297

By Public Transport:
From the station turn right along Boar Lane and turn left up the pedestrianised shopping street, Briggate. Swan Street can be found at the top of Briggate, opposite Borders.


  • Dogs acceptedDogs accepted
  • Facilities for hearing impairedFacilities for hearing impaired
  • Facilities for visually impairedFacilities for visually impaired