Scala Picture House

142 East Parade,
Bradford, BD1 5EE

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Crowthers Theatre

Nearby Theaters

The Scala Bradford in June 2005

The Scala Picture House in East Parade at Shipley Airedale Road was a purpose built two tier cinema which opened in August 1913. It was built and operated by the adjacent St. Mary’s Catholic Church to help raise money for the church. It became a theatre for a year. As a cinema it had 700 seats with tip-up chairs in stalls and circle seating areas.

It is reputed to be intact inside and the only incident worthy of note was the unfortunate death of a boy in 1916 when a gale force wind dislodged a stone cross from the gable of St Mary’s which then plunged through the roof of the cinema and crushed the poor lad who was awaiting the start of the film.

The Scala Picture House was closed in 1922 and became a church hall for St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The church was converted into a banqueting and events venue called Regency Hall in 2017, and the vacant former Plaza Picture House had an application to extend that use was submitted to Bradford Council in late-2020.

The former Plaza Picture House is a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ian on November 18, 2004 at 9:49 am

Following a tour of this building yesterday, it appears to be even more interesting than previously thought. It was built for the church as a way of raising money (the nearby St Peters had a similar scheme with the Tivoli). The stalls floor has been levelled and a false ceiling put in at balcony level. This part of the building is now a plain meeting room. However above this everything is intact, from the plasterwork on the walls to the projection room (empty) and a delightful single box at the rear of the balcony. Narrow corridors, tiny little payboxes positioned in the centre of a door and an open trussed ceiling all remain – largely unseen for decades.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 20, 2005 at 4:33 am

A recent auditorium view, showing a part of the building hidden away above a false ceiling here:
View link

mikealred on May 20, 2006 at 2:42 am

May 2006. The Leeds Catolic Dicosis which owns the premises is proposing to close the St Mary’s RC church (also listed) which at present uses La Scala as it’s church hall. They will them sell the premises which can only put the building at serious risk of dmeolition.

Copies of he full original plans of the building are avalable on microfich at the Bradford branch of the West Yorkshire Archives Service.

historydb on December 4, 2007 at 2:28 am

Not only used as a means of raising money for the church, the intention was so that the parish priest could control the type of films his parishioners were seeing.


CSWalczak on June 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm

There is much additional information about this theatre, its current status, and pictures on this webpage.

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