We were invited to a very special screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol yesterday at The Palace Picture House which is inside Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. We had such a lovely time that I really wanted to share it with you here. I have to confess that I haven’t visited this museum since I was a child myself so it was lovely to be able to go along with my two little ones. It really is a hidden gem we had the best time and will be back!
We arrived at Leeds Industrial Museum a little early so we could make the most of the trip and take a good look around the museum before we headed to The Palace Picture House. The staff that greeted us couldn’t have been more welcoming and they talked through the map of the museum with us before we went for a wander. The museum is over four floors but is laid out so that you snake your way through each section. We managed to see everything on our trip.
Housed in what was once the world’s largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum tells the story of Leeds’ industrial past. From manufacturing textiles and clothing, to printing, engineering, film and photography. So many interesting exhibitions and everything is clearly signed. There were also lots of ‘hands on’ interactive displays that were great for the children. And let’s be honest here, us grown ups too!
What we were really there to see of course was The Palace Picture House which is tucked away in the museum itself. This beautiful little 1920s cinema is the smallest in the north of England with just 25 seats. It is jaw-droppingly charming it feels like stepping into the past as you walk in through the heavy curtained door past the old ticket booth.
The cinema fittings were rescued from the old Place Picture House in Armley that closed back in the 1960s and really has to be seen to be believed. The cinema acts as an exhibit within the Optics Gallery where there is also an amazing photo gallery and even a replica of Le Princes’ camera that he used to make the first ever moving pictures right here in Leeds. A bit of local history that I never knew about!
The cinema originally used celluloid projectors but nowadays behind the vintage facade there is in fact a state of the art DVD projector. We were treated to a very special screening of The Muppets Christmas Carol and it really was an incredible experience. Before the film began we tucked into mince pies and hot chocolate, it was so cosy and Christmassy. Then as the lights dimmed we took our very plush seats and enjoyed the movie in these very special surroundings. We were all in absolute awe of the place.
We had such an amazing day and I must say a HUGE THANK YOU to Leeds Industrial Museum for inviting us along. We will definitely be back again to visit. There are lots of special events coming up this year and they also offer lots of different family activities to keep little ones entertained in the school holidays. As you can see from the size of my coat (!) it was a freezing December day so we didn’t spend much time looking at the outdoor exhibits so it will be nice to go back when the weather warms up to have a proper look. The museum is nestled in between the River Aire and the Leeds Liverpool Canal and there is even a picnic area so it would be great to go for more of a wander next time.
Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is open on Tues-Sat 10am-5pm and Sun 1pm-5pm. Parking is free and entry to the museum is just £3.80 per adult and £1.90 per child or £8 for a family ticket. You can find out more by visiting leeds.gov.uk/armleymills