Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds City Varieties music hall celebrates 150 years

The City Varieties theatre Image copyright City Varieties
Image caption The City Varieties has been showing acts in the centre of Leeds for 150 years

A historic theatre said to be the country's longest-running music hall is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a special open day.

The City Varieties, in Swan Street, Leeds, was the home to BBC series The Good Old Days from 1953 until 1983.

Notable acts to have performed there over the years include Harry Houdini, Eartha Kitt, Les Dawson and John Inman.

The venue will open its doors from noon until 16:00 BST for visitors to explore and take part in various activities.

Image copyright Maurice Friedman
Image caption The City Varieties has been providing entertainment for 150 years. Here the entrance off Briggate is pictured in 1911

Its managers said the venue, which is believed to be the country's longest-serving music hall, began life as a room above a pub to provide entertainment to the working classes.

"Affluent" sister venue The Grand Theatre, used to serve the higher classes, they said.

Escapologist Houdini and a woman who "hypnotised alligators" were among some of the "weird and wonderful acts" to grace the Varieties' stage.

Image copyright City Varieties
Image caption Audiences were wowed by famous acts including Harry Houdini. This photo was taken in 1900

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