JUNE rumbles on and with it comes news of major change afoot at the cinema.

It may come as something of a surprise to those of you I have interacted with during my time here but I’m born and bred in Keighley having arrived at Airedale Hospital in 1989.

I’ve lived around Utley for most of my life and went to Steeton and South Craven schools respectively.

I’ve also been coming to this cinema since Mr Morris re-opened it in 1996.

I remember that first gala fortnight of films put on the listing for which still exists framed in our Take 5 coffee lounge with many hits of the day.

I saw three films in that first fortnight: Toy Story, Babe, and of course The Railway Children which was introduced, I seem to remember, by former Keighley town mayor Graham Mitchell.

Prior to that I don’t think I’d ever sat in a cinema before.

I will never forget that sense of excitement as the house lights faded, the smell of warm popcorn permeating the screen and those once-familiar 35mm headers came flickering on saying “courtesy is contagious”!

I look back at the cinema of 1996 and see plenty of change.

We ran 35mm films right up to their last breath in September 2013 but we also rolled with the times.

We were fully digitally-equipped by the time I started work as a relief manager in June 2013 and have introduced live streaming of events since 2015.

This breathed new life into the most unlikely survivor of Keighley’s once six-strong complement of cinemas, and forced us to embrace the internet and digital age.

All of Mr Morris’ cinemas reflect the communities they serve and Keighley is no different.

The Picture House has for most of its existence been the outside chance constantly rolling with the times but constantly fighting for survival.

Carrying on fighting not because of a legacy from times gone but because we are something special in modern life, and something Keighley is and should be proud of.

Let’s face it, there aren’t many towns that still have a cinema like this that’s pulling in the most up-to-date releases in comfortable surroundings, and whatever our faults we should never be easily cast aside.

It is however easy for me to be proud of what we’ve achieved since 1996 but especially in the last four years where my legacy has been pulling the cinema forward into the 21st century.

Yes, there is much still to be done, but look at how far we’ve come.

Personally I am sad to be moving on to pastures new in July.

I know I leave the cinema on North Street in the hands of a smart and capable team headed up by my assistant manager Jamie and I looky forward to those achievements still to come.

I know through it all that you, our rightly unique and marvellous cinema-going public, will keep us on our toes – not least I hope with Despicable Me 3’s arrival on June 30.

l The Keighley News has now created a special Big Picture page on its website where you can read David Pedrick’s previous articles. Visit keighleynews.co.uk, click on What’s On then Out & About.