One of the district’s oldest cinemas celebrates a century of entertaining the masses tomorrow, with a series of screenings embracing its history.

Keighley Picture House in North Street is holding an all-day celebration to mark its 100-year anniversary.

In an age where most smaller cinemas have been replaced by multiplexes, many of which are in out-of-town retail parks rather than town centres, reaching the 100-year mark is all that more special for the cinema.

Although moving pictures first came to Keighley in 1896, the Picture House was the town’s first purpose-built cinema. There have been stretches when it was shut, but the building has always remained a cinema.

To mark the festivities there is a reception for invited guests followed at 2.45pm by a film programme, arranged by the Keighley Film Club, to which the public are invited free of charge.

‘History of Film’, a ten-minute documentary by Tom Stewart, chronicles the pioneering days of cinema from 1888 to 1913, which was when the Picture House opened.

It is followed by ‘The Picture House’, by Scott Coulthard, a short appreciation of the Keighley Picture House itself.

Then follows Maya Derren’s surrealist ‘At Land’ with a specially-composed musical score played live, then 1913 Gothic film ‘Fantomas: In The Shadow of the Guillotine’.

The complete show lasts until about 5pm The evening performance, for which there is an admission charge, starts at 8pm and includes a re-showing of ‘History of Cinema’ and ‘At Land’, followed by ‘The Artist’, a love story to the days of silent movies which won five Oscars after its release in 2011.

When the Picture House first opened, it was owned by local businessmen. But it was sold in 1954 to the large Essoldo cinema circuit. Classic Cinemas took over in 1972 and converted it into two screens in 1975.

Closure followed in 1983 following the discovery of structural defects, but it was renovated and reopened in 1985.

In 1991 financial pressures led to another closure, but it was rescued by the present proprietor, Charles Morris, and reopened in July 1996.

Mr Morris, who runs several other old cinemas, said: “There are very few purpose-built cinemas which have lasted for 100 years and are still showing films.

"The building still retains its original and stylish frontage though the interior has been modernised over the years.

"It has been closed for a couple of periods but it has always been a cinema. I feel a great responsibility to keep these old cinemas going now that they have reached such a grand old age.”

He plans to write a book about its history, and urges anyone who may have photographs of the building or stories about its earlier years to get in touch.