3 Reasons To See…Hunt For The Wilderpeople


  1. What We Do In The Shadows was writer/director Taika Waititi’s previous film and the winner of the Audience Award at LIFF28. Unusually for me, it was a film I saw three times in the cinema and thought it got better each time.
  2. Everybody loves it. Until very recently Wilderpeople had 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning it hadn’t received a negative review from any critics. It’s now dropped to 98% but that’s still ‘Certified Fresh‘.  On Letterboxd (“a social network for sharing your taste in film”) it has been one of the highest rated films of the year.
  3. Taika Waititi is also directing Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and found time to make this short film, possibly the best entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet:

Hunt For The Wilderpeople is screening daily at Hyde Park Picture House from Friday 23rd September.

Heritage Open Days

This weekend the Picture House is taking part in the Heritage Open Days. This is  a great opportunity to explore the building and find out why it’s so important that we are working hard to maintain the cinema’s legacy.

There will be both self-guided tours, where guests will be free to explore all of the building and learn about it’s long history, as well as guided tours of the projection room.

On Sunday at 3pm there is also a special FREE screening of This Sporting Life (1963) in conjunction with the exhibition ‘A Tender Tumult: The Art of David Storey’ which is currently on show at The Hepworth Wakefield from the 11th June – 05th October.

Saturday 10th September
Self-guided tour: 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Projection room tour: 2.45pm

Sunday 11th September
Self-guided tour: 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Projection room tour: 12.45pm, 1.15pm, 1.45pm

For projection room tours, booking ahead is required and can be done by emailing: admin@hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk or calling 0113 275 2045.

New Programme Chat & Drinks

Join us on Monday 5th September from 7pm at the Brudenell Social Club for a get-together to chat about the new cinema programme starting on September 9th.

We thought it would be a good idea to meet up and find out what everybody is looking forward to seeing. It would also be a good time to look back at the last few months and see how people think the year has been so far for film. We’re also looking for ideas for future posts on this blog and possibly even some new contributors.

We hope this can become a regular thing around each new programme. So come along and join us for drinks, chat and the opportunity to meet other Friends.

On Facebook? Join the event

Heritage Lottery Funding

We are delighted that the Picture House will get a £2.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund . This application involved a huge amount of work for cinema staff and supporters, aided by experienced consultants. The Friends financially supported the feasibility study work which started in 2015 and formed part of the application.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Picture House was officially formed in 1984 because of fears for the long term survival of the cinema. Now, in 2016, we are in the wonderful position of supporting the development phase to preserve this beautiful building, to better serve the existing community, and to reach out to new audiences. We will make sure that the views of our members are taken into account as plans develop.

It is hoped that the scheme will not only lead to restoration of the existing building but brand new accessible facilities. This includes fully accessible toilets, a second screen in the basement, a café-bar and a vibrant learning and heritage programme.

It was also heartwarming to see the response to the news on social media, click here to see a small selection of reactions.

Yorkshire Silent Film Festival

The first ever Yorkshire Silent Film Festival is taking place throughout July at various venues across the region. On Sunday there are four events at the Picture House with a day pass available for members for £15 (passes for non-members are £19/£17).

Harry Houdini Stars in The Grim Game (1919)


Showing at 12:40pm

Escapologist and illusionist Harry Houdini plays a man framed and imprisoned who escapes his cell and ruthlessly pursues the criminals who set him up. Lost for many years, this film was rediscovered in 2014 in the Brooklyn apartment of a retired juggler. It’s full of outlandish, breathtaking sequences, including Houdini’s world famous escape from a straitjacket while suspended from a skyscraper and a real-life mid-air plane collision which was later incorporated into the plot.

Live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best Continue reading

Mid Year Report

The Summer Solstice has passed which means the days will start getting shorter and we’re about to enter the second half of the year. It seems like a good time to look back over the last six months and remember how many great films there have been. The Guardian have already published an alphabetical list of their highest rated films including Arabian Nights, Dheepan, Hail, Caesar! and Our Little Sister. Over on Twitter Little White Lies counted down their top 30 films of #2016SoFar with Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! coming out on top and also mentioning Court, The Pearl Button and Mustang.

We’ve put together a list of all the films shown at the Picture House this year and would like to know what your highlights have been so far. The films from the first half of the year are often forgotten at the end of the year when award season madness takes over so it would be good to hear what people think at this point. Tell us what you’ve liked (or disliked) in the comments below.

My personal favourite so far is still Room which I saw the first half of at the film festival and had to wait until it was shown at the Picture House to see the ending. Bone Tomahawk was another festival film that I only saw on general release but shocked and delighted in equal measure and I rated it much higher than The Hateful Eight or The Revenant which received far more attention at the time. Chicken is a really impressive debut film and it was great to hear director Joe Stephenson talk about the film in the Q&A when he visited Hyde Park. I’m disappointed that I haven’t seen any foreign language films that have made my list yet, perhaps Mustang would’ve made it but I didn’t get chance to see it. And yes I really did like Joy that much although I doubt it will stay at number 2 on my list when I come to reshuffle it.

So, over to you, comment below and tell us what you make of 2016 so far.

May Poll

As May comes to a close we’ve added a new poll to ask about the films you enjoyed the most this month. Just selecting which films to have as options is hard enough (you can use the “other” option to vote for something else) so it will be interesting to see what comes out on top. Last month there were only a few votes separating Dheepan and Son Of Saul.

Are there better ways to spend a Bank Holiday than voting in an online poll? Actually there are because you could treat yourself to The Jungle Book and/or Love & Friendship this afternoon, perhaps two of the most enjoyable films of the year.

This Week At The Picture House

Hyde Park

Some weeks are dominated by one big release and others offer a variety of films. In the next seven days there are ten different films at the Picture House including the latest from directors Jeff Nichols, Jean-Marc Vallée, Miguel Gomes and Richard Linklater.

First up is Jeff Nichols’ long anticipated Midnight Special (Fri 6:20pm with a Meetup and Wed 8:50pm, also 11am BYOB), a science fiction mystery from the director of Mud (2012) and Take Shelter (2010) with a Spielbergian feel, even if that’s not what Nichols was planning.

On Sunday afternoon there’s a rare chance to see all three of Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights films (1pm special ticket price: £15 full, £13 conc, £12 members plus another MeetUp). “A glowing love song to Portugal performed by a man who has mastered a range of exotic instruments” says David Jenkins in Little White Lies and a “passionately investigative, floridly imaginative triptych” according to Richard Brody of The New Yorker.

Jean-Marc Vallée has received a lot of attention in the last few years for directing Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and The Wild (2014) but it was C.R.A.Z.Y (2005) that makes him a director to keep an eye on. Unfortunately his latest film Demolition (showing daily) is getting mixed reviews but it’s an interesting premise and a great cast so may be worth checking out.

Continue reading

Meetup: Dheepan

Wednesday 13th April 5:50pm
Also showing daily until Thursday 14th


The Palme D’or winning Dheepan is showing every day this week but Wednesday’s screening is the latest Leeds Movie Meetup Group gathering. We asked Frankie, the group’s organiser to tell us a little more.

Since forming in September 2008 the Leeds Movie Meetup Group has grown to a substantial size (1700+) members, although a typical number of attendees for an actual movie meetup would be 6 or 7 and our record attendance remains 22 for the DiCaprio movie Inception (2010). The Hyde Park Picture House is very much our ‘home’ venue. To date we have attended over 500 movies at the cinema, with Dheepan being our next meetup. I was joking that the follow up film should be called Krispneven, and at least 1 person thought that was funny! It’s not the same when we go elsewhere, although if we do, we much prefer independent cinemas such as The Cottage Road in Far Headingley to the Vue experience – where the screens are way too big and it’s way too expensive. But the main reason we love going to HPPH is the type of movie that gets shown there. Dheepan is exactly the kind of movie that the group looks for. Sure we also like recent blockbuster films such as The Revenant, High Rise or Hail, Caesar! but it’s the award winning foreign movies that are the first to get scheduled. Palme D’or winners (such as Dheepan) are sure to get the group talking in the Royal Park backroom afterwards. It might be totally hat-stand, but The Lobster which was our Favourite Film Meetup for 2015.

It’s tricky to find the Meetup website’s discussion board on a mobile phone, but with a desktop version, then it’s easy. We nearly always put an informal review of the film (and meetup) on there, certainly this happens if it’s an event that I’ve hosted, so it’s a little weird to do a preview of Dheepan. My reasoning in stating that is that I like to go see a movie where I know as little about it as possible. Ideally someone who has similar taste in movies to me will recommend it; and then I don’t want to see any trailers or read any reviews in the media. Dheepan has an interesting premise where a Tamil soldier poses as the husband and father of two other refugees in order to escape Sri Lanka and attempts to start a new life in France, and I think I’d rather not know any more about it!! However, I’m not a fan of some of the director’s other movies, especially A Prophet (2009), which as prison dramas go, was easily the toughest stretch I’ve had to endure, and was far too long.

I want to finish by mentioning Victoria. This movie is coming to the HPPH soon (from April 15th), and our Group is going to see it. We saw it at the Leeds International Film Festival back in November. It subsequently won a Llama (Leeds Annual Meetup Awards) for the year’s best film, as voted for by the members of the Group. Now that is an amazing film. It’s a little slow to get going but when it does it grips!!