Friends of the Picture House

The Friends of the Picture House is a voluntary group that connects and communicates between the cinema, the Town Council, and the people of Hebden Bridge.

Anyone can become a member, and we are always happy to have more volunteers who can give their time to help us in our various projects.

Our activities include raising funds for the cinema, hosting events for members of the
community, and attending meetings of the Town Council’s Picture House management committee. Membership of the Friends is free, and as a member you would be sent updates on our activities via email, and informed of opportunities to get involved.

We have an elected committee of up to 15 members, who meet every six weeks to consider what the community want from the Picture House, and how the Friends can ensure that the cinema continues to thrive.

Projects that are currently underway include:


Since 2016, our Making Friends Project has offered the hand of friendship and support to asylum seekers in the Calderdale area. Our volunteers befriend, collect, sort and distribute donations, promote local volunteering opportunities, refurbish donated bikes for the group and organise social activities. These social activities include visits to the cinema and other local attractions, and art workshops in collaboration with local groups.

The Making Friends project is an important factor in the Picture House’s status as the UK’s first Cinema of Sanctuary, the awarding of which was attended by members of the Friends of the Picture House in 2021.


In early 2023 we began to host Making Friends Kitchen. This is a regular opportunity for those members of the asylum seeker group who are placed in hostels, to meet, cook together and share food in a safe space. Cooking and sharing food is very powerful, and this is often the first time attendees have been able to choose the menu and cook for themselves since leaving their home countries.


Each Christmas season, we sell raffle tickets in the cinema foyer and around Hebden Bridge for a prize draw to be held on Christmas Eve. Prizes include cash and cinema merchandise and tickets. This is the main source of income for the Friends of the Picture House, and in previous years the funds raised have been used to help refurbish various parts of the cinema, helping to maintain the heritage of the Picture House and, by extension, the town. Recently, we provided funds to restore one of the cinemas vintage 35mm projectors, which is now displayed at the back of the auditorium.


The Friends of the Picture House work in conjunction with the organisers of the Hebden Bridge Film Festival to help to promote the festival, and at each festival to date we have hosted one of the programmed films as a special Friends of the Picture House presentation.


New members are always welcome – you can join either by completing a Friends form, available in the foyer of the Picture House, or by emailing
‘foph(at)’ with your full name and email address, confirming that you’d like to join the Friends and be kept informed about all Friends news and meeting details.

If you would like to support the cinema please consider a donation to the Friends:
Please send any donations to the Friends by either
– bank transfer (account number 32110014 sort code 01-03-99) or
– Paypal (select the ‘Friends and Family’ option please) – the PayPal account is

Please use payment reference ‘DONATION’. Thank you for your kind support. If you are happy to volunteer your time, or can offer any other skills to support the Friends’ projects, please let us know when emailing to join the Friends.

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