Committee Members

Current Trustees

Chair: Bill Walton

I feel fortunate to live within walking distance of the historic Hyde Park Picture House … so many good films, a beautiful setting, plus the contribution the cinema makes to the wider community.

Through the Friends’ Committee I can actively support everyone involved with the Picture House to build on the centenary celebrations. An exciting time! Our new charity status, website and Heritage Lottery funding will help the cinema adapt and thrive in the years ahead.

Treasurer: Paul Betts

I have been visiting the HPPH for over 15 years and for the last 8 years I have been a Friends of HPPH member. It is undoubtedly my favourite place to be in Leeds! I wanted to be involved in the Friends committee due to my love of films, my love of the Hyde Park cinema itself and because I thought I had a contribution to make. I am an accountant by profession and I have taken on the role of treasurer and I am responsible for monitoring and administering the finances of the organisation. I joined the committee in 2015 and I look forward to helping the friends and the HPPH as an exciting future is being planned to protect and enhance the long term future of the cinema.

Digital Communications Officer: Stephen Brown

Since moving to Leeds in 2001 I’ve been a regular visitor to the Picture House. I joined the Friends committee in 2012 because I wanted to help support the cinema. In 2015 I help set up the Friends’ new website and currently manage and contribute to the site. I am happy to continue on the committee, manage the website and contribute to the exciting future of the cinema.

Secretary: (Vacant Position)

Membership Secretary: (Vacant Position)

Wendy Cook (representing Leeds Heritage Theatres )

I have worked at the Picture House since 2002, first selling sweets, then tickets before being lucky enough to land the role of General Manager in 2006. It is fair to say I never intended to stay as long as I have but working every day in such a beautiful building and spending my time surrounded by wonderfully kind and interesting people is something that never gets old so I’m pretty well bedded it. That’s before I even start to think about the films . As a member of the Friends of Hyde Park Committee I will endeavour to ensure the relationship between the Picture House and the Friends is always positive and constructive.

Keith Withall

I was a member of the Friends Committee in the 1990s. I have been on the current Committee since 2013. I have been both acting treasurer and minute secretary for a period.

I am a regular at Hyde Park Picture House screenings, and I am a regular contributor to the Friends of HPPH Webpages.

I am familiar with the Constitution and the aims and practices of the Friends and with the requirements by the Charity Commission for Trustees of Registered Charities. I regularly attend the Committee Meeting. I see part of my role as both preserving the traditions of the Friends and as a Trustee ensuring we follow the guidelines of the Charity Commission.

Rob Welborn

I first ‘discovered’ the HPPH during a Leeds Film Festival some 12 years ago and have visited many times since. I was fascinated to discover such a gem still existed – and with enthusiastic support and management. For some years my employment (power station engineer) and family commitments have limited my contribution as a ‘Friend’ – something which I can now rectify. The HPPH is entering a new and exciting era and I believe that community-based organisations are an even more essential part of 21st century life. I am interested in many forms of art including film and film production techniques. I enjoy French cinema – “Not another Binoche film” I can hear my wife say!

Bill Hargreaves (Trustee Status Pending)

I lived and worked in Leeds for 15 years until 1992 and used to visit the Picture House and other local cinemas regular. Then I moved away and lost touch but started revisiting HPPH about four years ago, after my workload reduced and I renewed my interested in films, encouraged by my daughter, who is a Film Making university student at the time of writing.

I quickly joined the Friends of Hyde Park Picture House because I was impressed by the dedication of other Friends and audience members to keeping HPPH going and encouraging them to show a wide variety of films to all audiences, from the youngest babies to those of us who are no longer young but are still excited by so many well made a varied new films.

I have no professional qualifications related to running a cinema but I have learnt at the Committee meetings that the Friends of HPPH’s role is not to run the cinema but to provide a link between the Picture House and the audience. I have recently retired from paid employment and so have time to assist the Friends in any way I can. I have joined the Friends committee at a very exciting time with the reopening only a few months away. I hope to help the Friends realise our aims of keeping the Picture House a valued and much loved part of the cultural landscape of Leeds and Yorkshire.

Former Trustees

Below are the final election statements from former trustees who have now retired from the committee.

Andy Smith (2021-2022)

I can’t remember the first time I visited HPPH but I remember the feeling of being in a special space! This was reinforced when in 2014 a birthday card was being passed round for the audience to sign – it was the HPPH’s 100th birthday! I’ve decided to get involved in the committee to try to carry on the great work of previous committee members in protecting the Picture House’s unique heritage.

My background is in healthcare, education and training and some marketing. I have run my own small business, worked for multinational contact lens manufacturers, the NHS and The Universities of Manchester and Bradford teaching final year students clinical skills – so a diverse range of skills and experience to feed into problem solving and planning.

In addition to cinema in my spare time I enjoy cycling, art history and tending my allotment. I enjoy a wide variety of film favourites include Leon, Ex Machina and anything by Aardman Animations…

Ian Sanderson (1997-2021)

I have been a member of the committee of the Friends of the Hyde Park Picture House since 1997. I served as the Chair for over ten years and have always regularly attended committee meetings. I am strongly committed to maintaining the Hyde Park as an historic cinema showing a wide variety of interesting, classic, historic, foreign-language and off-beat films.

John O’Hara (2013 – 2020)

I have been a Friend of HPPH for many years and a member of the committee since 2013.  I enjoy watching a variety of films at the HPPH and as a father with a young family this includes the Saturday “Hyde and Seek” matinees.  As someone who is Leeds born and bred I believe the HPPH is an essential element of the Leeds and Yorkshire cinema, arts and cultural fabric.  As a member of the committee I will always keep this in mind with the objective of securing the the HPPH for the enjoyment of future generations.

In Memoriam

Peter Chandley (1984 – 2018)

Peter Chandley was one of the founder members of the Friends and remained actively involved until his unexpected death late in 2018. His election statement from 2018 follows:

I am now the only remaining founder member of the Friends since 1984 some 30 years ago now. In that time we have seen many changes and over the years I have had various roles, duties and responsibilities which have included helping to produce the programme, acting as secretary and now as chair as well as typing up reports., minutes and other item as needed.

I have been proud to work over the years with every manager from Geoff Thompson to Wendy Cook as at present. The aim of the Friends has always been to support, encourage, develop and promote to cinema, but not to try to run it. We have had a proud role in often difficult times and I feel that we have achieved much over years with the help of many people. I am happy for now to continue to stand again for being on the committee in whatever role is needed and whilst we have come a long way in recent times we must not take for granted, but work together to make sure that this wonderful cinema that we all love so much goes from strength to strength and to make sure that that we go on for the next 100 years.

Thank you for all your support and we really couldn’t do it without you and again thanks to all those who have helped in so many ways, and so let us all work together to ensure a bright future awaits.