Beech Hill Cinema

13 Westgate,
Otley, LS21 3AT

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Star Cinemas

Architects: Oswald Holmes

Nearby Theaters

The Beech Hill Cinema in Otley in August 1999

Located in Otley, near Leeds, Yorkshire. Like the other cinema in Otley, the Picture House, the Beech Hill Cinema had the same owners Otley Picture House Ltd.. It was opened on 20th October 1930 with Anna May Wong in “The Flame of Love” (her first ‘talkie’). It was designed by local architect Oswald Holmes. The façade was covered in Shaw’s of Darwen cream tiles. The Kinematograph Year Books by 1947 and into 1954 show the Beech Hill Cinema & the Picture House both operated by the Leeds based Star Cinemas circuit.

The Beech Hill Cinema went over to part-time bingo/cinema use on 16th November 1967 still operated by Star Cinemas. It screened its final films on 3rd February 1968 Christopher Plummer in “Triple Cross” & Edgar Lustgarten in “Payment in Kind” and was converted into the Royal Bingo Club on 8th February 1968. The bingo club had closed by Autumn 1999 when it was demolished. Fans of the Yorkshire Television programme “Heartbeat” can catch glimpses of it in the odd programme when a shop across the road was used as a location.

It has since been demolished and the front of the site is a small space used for car parking, the plot where the auditorium was located in now overgrown vacant land.

Contributed by H J Hill

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

HJHill on March 4, 2013 at 5:37 am

Correction: the site is not the car park. That is beyond the flag and the tree. The cinema site is mostly behind a high board fence with young trees visible. The clue in the Google Streetview is the brick pillar and iron railings. They are still there; as is one of the red brick and white faïence corners of the cinema.

Ian on March 8, 2013 at 4:36 am

Is it possible that this and the Westgate cinema listed on CT were the same building under different names? This one (Beech Hill) opened in 1930 if the date on the façade is correct. It later became the Royal Bingo Club, but I am not sure if the Royal name was ever applied during the cinema days – the KYB for 1964 lists it as Beech Hill.


HJHill on March 8, 2013 at 11:24 am

I’ve uploaded images of the KYB entries for Otley for 1931, 1942, 1947 and 1954. 1942 lists both the Beech Hill and the Westgate cinema; and gives the latter as 580 seats. In 1947 and 1954 the Beech Hill is given as 686 and 679 seats, respectively. It’s odd.

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