Memories of Elite Cinema on show at Old School House

By Pip Land

Memories of the Elite Cinema in Leyburn are on show in the café at The Old School House (TOSH) until next Wednesday – while upstairs in the Studio there is an exhibition of watercolours by Fay Chetwood.

The memorabilia from the cinema include colourful cartoons, posters of the various farces presented by the Leyburn Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS) including “No Sex Please We’re British”, and the days when a group of volunteers showed films at what was then called The Picture House.

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There are also written memories of the Elite from the 1930s until the 1970s. The cartoon above was drawn to illustrate this one from the 1930s: “Ladies from Aysgarth used to cycle to Leyburn, to the cinema to watch a film. And then cycle all the way back! Not many people had cars and there were no buses in the evening.” The cinema was popular then as few people had TVs.

The exhibition upstairs is very different with a wide range of scenes from North Yorkshire, from coastal landscapes to snow covered Dales barns.

Chetwood was born and bred in the North Yorkshire moors and her pictures capture her love and deep appreciation of the area.

On Thursday July 20 two new exhibitions will start at TOSH. That by John Hunter in the Café is a must to go and see especially during the Leyburn 1940s weekend (July 22-23) as he is a master at depicting the aeroplanes and vehicles of that period. It is not surprising that he is so well-known nationally for his aviation artwork. His exhibition at TOSH will end on Thursday August 10.

The exhibition in the Studio entitled “Air, Earth, Fire and Water” continues until Tuesday August 15.

This features the work of textile artist Helen Winthorpe Kendrick and is a celebration of life encompassing the ancient Greek belief that everything was made up of air, earth, fire and water.