Picturedrome, Holmfirth

This page is a bare-bones entry for a location which appears on an historic Ordnance Survey map. More detailed information may eventually be added...


  • also known as: Holme Valley Theatre, Holmfirth Electric Picturedrome
  • location: off Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth
  • status: still exists
  • architect: Percy Norman Brown (1883-1958)
  • category: cinema

Built 1912-13 by the firm of Messrs. Hawthorne & King of Coxton House, Mirfield, the name was initially announced as the Hippodrome[1] but it was referred to as both the Holme Valley Theatre and the Holmfirth Electric Picturedrome in early newspaper reports. The cinema opened on Easter Monday 1913 with three shows given during the day.[2][3]

According to an article published in Kinematograph Weekly (20/Sep/1928), the Rev. Harold G. Wilks of Upperthong struck up a partnership with, Mr. Greenwood, the manager of the Picturedrome. Greenwood supplied Wilks with details of the upcoming feature films and Wilks would preach what he called a "kinema sermon" based on the themes of the film on the Sunday before the its first showing. In return, Greenwood inserted a slide promoting the sermon and the upcoming film as part of the pre-film advertising. Wilks stated that "I get good congregations: he [Greenwood] gets good houses. Thus we both benefit."

Historic England Listing

  • Grade II
  • first listed 18 May 2007
  • listing entry number 1391967

HOLME VALLEY. MARKET WALK. THE PICTUREDROME. Cinema, 1912-13, designed by P. Norman Brown of Holmfirth for Hawthorne and King. The building is in red brick, mainly rendered with exposed brick pillars, with a slate pitched roof. There is a louvre on the ridge towards the front of the building.

ELEVATIONS: main entrance at the gable end to the south-east. Two double doors with original oval glazing bars in upper halves and overlights are centrally placed, divided by a brick pilaster. Stone banded brick pilasters to each side support a balcony, formerly an external projection box. The pilasters continue to break the roof line with semi-circular caps. The balcony has three blocked openings and a window. There is a projecting stone band at first floor, and one window to each side on ground and first floor, with stone dressings. The raised apex of the gable carries a date stone of 1912 surmounted by a stone cartouche. Both sides of the building are rendered brick with exposed brick pilasters and various openings, some blocked. To the rear is a first floor entrance to the stage and gallery areas with altered external access stair.

INTERIOR: The doors open into an entrance foyer with an inserted reception desk at the rear. Stairs to the first floor gallery rise to the left with original green, yellow and white Art Deco tiling to each side. Doors to the Gentlemans toilets to the left and the Ladies toilets lto the right have original lettering in the glass. The main auditorium has a bar area to the rear beneath the gallery, modern seating in the central section and an open area at the front. The flattened proscenium arch around the screen has a decorative plasterwork band with a central cartouche. The lower portion on the right side has been restored using the original mould. The ceiling is a coffered segmented barrel vault in pressed tin, with ceiling roses forming part of the ventilation system. To either side of the stage are exit doors with raised pediments, with a further door on the right side of the auditorium, and shuttered (blocked) windows along each side. The gallery runs along the rear and right hand side of the auditorium: the curved front is decorated with ornate plasterwork. There is no seating, and a projection room has been inserted into the front part of the rear section. Some openings to a former projection room at the rear survive. Behind the screen are two small rooms to the left, and additional timber and steel work has been inserted to support a first floor room in the area of the former fly tower. Truncated remains of the fly equipment remain in the ceiling. There is an original emergency exit to the rear of the side gallery.


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Notes and References

  1. "Another for Holmfirth" in The Bioscope (24/Oct/1912).
  2. "Huddersfield and District" in Kinematograph Weekly (03/Apr/1913).
  3. "Huddersfield and District" in Kinematograph Weekly (10/Apr/1913).