The former theatre will house community events. Credit: Neil Holmes

Hobson & Porter picked to bring back Hull landmark

With council and Lottery backing in place, the local contractor has been appointed to restore and preserve the National Picture Theatre on Beverley Road.

Described by Hull City Council as the last remaining World War II civilian ruin in the UK, the project will involve the restoration of the building’s façade to its former period style, including windows and signage.

Structural elements, including the two large concrete beams which saved the lives of the 150 people inside the theatre on the night it was bombed, will also be preserved.

Set to become a flexible space for community events and education, it will also become a place of reflection for the 1,200 Hull civilians that died during the conflict. .

Hobson and Porter has delivered other heritage projects within the city and work on this historical site will get under way in the coming weeks.

Funding is provided by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund,

Gillian Osgerby, programme director at Hull City Council, said: “It is great to reach this key milestone in restoring this iconic site and tell its remarkable story. It’s a reminder of how civilians on the home front were affected by the Blitz.

“After London, Hull was the UK’s most bombed city during World War II and thanks to National Lottery players, we can now remember and recognise the sacrifice that was made.”

The former National Picture Theatre was designed by Runton & Barry for the De-Luxe Theatre Company and was constructed in 1914.

The building was badly damaged during a Luftwaffe air raid on 18 March 1941, although none of the 150 people inside the cinema at the time were killed or seriously injured.

It gained grade two-listed status in 2007 due to its significance as a rare surviving bomb-damaged building from the Blitz of the Second World War.

Remedial work to stabilise the building took place in 2020 and now the major works are scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, with completion expected in autumn.

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Excellent news! The team behind this has worked tirelessly to ensure it is saved and it’s great to see the project being delivered.


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