The Courtyard Staff in 1998!

A trip down memory lane…

In light of 2023 being our 25th anniversary year at The Courtyard, we’ve taken a look back to see where some of our staff were in 1998, the year The Courtyard opened! Have a read and see which familiar faces you recognise…

Ingrid, Customer Sales Supervisor

An image of a woman with short purple hair smiling at the camera

“In 1998 I had recently moved to Hereford with my now husband and worked in Craft Kingdom (an independent shop like Hobbycraft which was situated where Wickes is currently) we went to the old Odeon cinema on commercial street every week, and were excited that a new 2 screen cinema was being built in the town…”

Becky, Inclusive Arts & Youth Theatre Leader

A young girl in a dress smiling at the camera

“In 1998, I was learning to dance at Tamworth Academy of Dance. I LOVED performing on stage and getting dressed up in my costumes. This is where my love of performance and stage began 😊”

Ethan, Marketing Assistant & Film Programming Assistant

A young boy sat smiling in bed holding a teddy bear

“Back in 1998, Ethan was 2 years old and living in Elland, West Yorkshire with his family. Photographed here with his Winnie the Pooh Bear, Ethan already had a love of many characters including Thomas the Tank Engine, Brum and the hilarious Rosie and Jim. He was already a fan of gravy but God forgive if you give him a broken biscuit, he wants a full and unbroken one! Ethan wasn’t yet sure of his favourite film but his favourite song was When You Wish Upon a Star which was painted on his bedroom wall.”

Jordan, Finance Officer

A young woman standing smiling in school uniform

“The opening of the Courtyard dominates 1998 for me. Casting for Bugsy Malone started in April and the whole summer was devoted to rehearsals. My Mum had to do a lot of babysitting for my Tamagotchi that year. I say Tamagotchi, it was a knock off that my Nan won at the pier at Weston-Super-Mare.

I remember the day the Courtyard opened – there were backstage tours & it seemed so impressive compared to the (somewhat magical) hodgepodge of the old theatre. There were also people dressed as Coneheads walking about the building for some strange reason. They freaked me out.

Autumn was significant for a different reason – I met my best friend Karen – we were both in need of someone to sit next to in music. We’re still friends 25 years on!

1998 ended with people in the children’s cast for Cinderella – I learnt so much observing & interacting with professionals. I do know I noted in my diary that I was sad for the year to end because it had been great – I wasn’t wrong!”

Simon, Head of Film

A black and white image of a man standing with his arms crossed looking at the camera

“Back in 1998 I was running the Bridgnorth Film Society from the Majestic Cinema in Bridgnorth as a hobby. After booking the programme we screened fortnightly on 35mm film from September to April and had regular audiences of over 100. Each screening was preceded by a tea or coffee hand made from an urn we carried into the screen. As the screenings were personally introduced by me most of the audience became friends and we had great conversations about the films of the time. I attach a picture of me (left) with Director Vadim Jean prior to a screening of his film Leon the Pig Farmer. Happy Days”

Leah, Digital Marketing Officer

A young girl sitting cross legged on a bed smiling

“In 1998 I was living across the border in Malvern (the same house I’m still living in now!) with my parents, beagle named Barney (whose bed I would often sleep in) and cat named Frankie. I was just starting nursery and was a huge Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine fan. I loved going on the Malvern hills, was a keen performer and that year appeared in a ballet show as a ‘daisy’ at Malvern Theatres. I have fond memories of visiting my grandad (and grandma) who I would sit and eat bowls of cottage cheese with. This was also the year my sweet tooth developed, and has lasted ever since – as my colleagues well know, I am the first to react when we get the ’free cake’ email!”

Jamie, Education Officer & Youth Theatre Leader

A young boy and young girl posing in front of The Courtyard sign

“When The Courtyard opened it was a big deal for me! I grew up just down the road and my parents took me there on the day it first opened it’s doors. It wasn’t long before I was a member of the Youth Theatre and spending my Saturdays rehearsing plays and performances. Now, 25 years on, I’m still there every Saturday, only this time as a Youth Theatre leader!”


Lucy, Finance Assistant & Technical Admin Assistant

A black and white image of a woman smiling at the camera

“In 1998 I was doing up my new cottage in Twickenham with Mark.  I worked in the production department of an advertising agency in Marylebone so spent a lot of time commuting and being an extra in WH Smiths ads at Pinewood Studios.”


Robyn, Marketing & Audience Development Manager

Four young girls stood next to theatre posters smiling

“When we were asked for photos of us the year The Courtyard opened this is the first one that sprang to mind. On closer inspection I think this might have been taken in 1999 but it was my first visit to pantoland at The Courtyard at the age of about 6 or 7. This year marks a decade since I started working at here – most of my adult life. I’ve grown up in these walls, meeting my husband, introducing everyone to our daughter and later this year we will be bringing two little ones to enjoy the magic of panto just as I did 25 years ago. How incredibly lucky I am to have memories stretching back so far about a place that is so important in my life.”


Victoria, Customer Sales Manager

A young girl posing for the camera holding her hands out to the side and sticking her tongue out

“In 1998, I had just entered my 2nd year at school, and was just starting to master joined up handwriting, and my times tables. My main goals at the time, were desperately trying to beat my sister on our height chart, and trying to get a part in the nativity play. Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve either that year, but I did get my driver’s licence from Lego Land. A definite highlight of the year!”


Sophie, Deputy Customer Sales Manager

A very young girl wearing a yellow cardigan and smiling at the camera

“1998 was an important year for me, as I celebrated my first birthday that summer! While I can’t really remember much of this year, my mum tells me I was learning to sit up and babble mostly, which is basically what I do for a living, isn’t it? So, very important skills! 😂”


Ruby, Marketing Officer

An image of a young girl jumping over a branch

“In 1998 I was living in Hereford with my mum and dad, and 2 cats called Marlow and Pickle. I was also attending Youth Theatre (not at The Courtyard, traitor!) and taking Tap and Modern classes at the time with aspirations of becoming a performer!”

We hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with our staff. We are very lucky to have such a fantastic team here at The Courtyard (including many, many staff members not pictured) to celebrate this incredible milestone for The Courtyard with!

Here’s to the next 25 years! Come along join us for an exciting range of live events and films this year. View full listings for our new season here.