Still going strong after almost three centuries, Leeds’ City Varieties Music Hall has changed little since it was built in 1865. Settle into the main Victorian theatre, with its ornate plasterwork and blood red walls, and it’s easy to imagine raucous nights à la Peaky Blinders, which is just one of the productions to have filmed scenes here.
The City Varieties has also welcomed crews from feature films Ghost Stories and Testament of Youth, as well as BBC TV drama The ABC Murders. Contemporary actors are in good company, as many of the world’s most illustrious entertainers have trodden the boards at this Victorian music hall, including Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini, Lilly Langtry, Buster Keaton and Mickey Rooney. More recently, it’s hosted the likes of Ray Alan, Frankie Vaughan, Ken Dodd and the Chuckle Brothers, and for 30 years it hosted the BBC’s record-breaking The Good Old Days.
Come for a behind-the-scenes tour and you can see the painstaking restoration that breathed new life into the venue a decade ago, and walk in the footsteps of the filming crews that have featured this heritage gem in the heart of Leeds city centre.