Odeon Bradford

Prince's Way,
Bradford, BD1 2BS

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dizzydevil on March 2, 2021 at 6:22 am

haem that should have been twitter feed not titter lol https://twitter.com/Bradford_Live?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1363539582801870848%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bradfordlive.co.uk%2Fhome

dizzydevil on March 2, 2021 at 6:21 am

Restoration is coming along well given the corona virus pandemic ect ..they have now actualy manage to remove all of the tripling of the cinema and got it back to one big auditourium! …you can follow the progress on their you tube channel Bradford live!and also their titter feed and web site! here is the YT vid of restoring the auditorium in 2019! https://youtu.be/xJpOiUpbZQs

CF100 on July 2, 2019 at 12:38 pm

The Michael Portillo programme to which madorganplayer referred was broadcast today on Channel 5.

(Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain—Season 2, Episode 4: “The Palace of Dreams.”)

It is currently available to stream on demand until the 30th November 2019.

Obviously, it is aimed at a “general interest” audience—however, I did watch part of it and from what I could tell the plasterwork to the edge of the auditorium’s dome was (at the time of shooting) still intact.

Channel 5’s programme description, “The New Victoria in Bradford was Britain’s first cinema,” is, ahem, puzzling.

CF100 on June 18, 2019 at 7:25 pm


the auditorium looks as if theres nothing left to conserve.

The only decorative aspect I know of that remained in the auditorium is the plasterwork at the front of the lower circle, in the void between the bingo hall ceiling and the 1960’s auditoria.

It (and the original steppings behind!) can be seen in a video uploaded with the title “Bradford Odeon Stripping Out ~ Autumn 2014”

According to the planning application “Design and Access Statement” (referenced as “DESIGN” in the previous post):

“Although much of the plaster decoration of the auditorium was lost in 1968, the steel structure that supported that decoration survives, as do important fragments of the decoration itself, such as the roof lantern.”

Overlaying Rank’s 1960’s drawings over the original, one sidewall of each of the two auditoria being in approximately the same location as the original. It’s not quite clear, but it appears that the rear wall position is partially in the same location, and its central section may suggest that alterations made could not have allowed for the original decoration to have survived.

However, the “Engineering Heritage” section of the “Design and Access Statement” (PDF p14) suggests that the structural aspects are of interest:

“With main roof trusses nearly 3m deep, spanning over 40m across a vast auditorium nearly 20m high, and a rear corner cantilevered out over the Bradford Beck, the ambition and skill of the engineers involved is impressive even by modern standards.

“The basic building has a robust structure of loadbearing brick, steel framing, an interesting and rare early precast plank flooring system, and timber roofs.”

CF100 on June 18, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Telegraph and Argus — May 2019 — “Inside Bradford’s Odeon as work continues ahead of Bradford Live music venue conversion”.

According to the article, further strip out works are underway, with the 1960s conversion floors/walls/added structural elements being removed.

At the time of publication, in particular:

  • Ceiling removed in Auditorium 1, partially removed in Auditorium 2.
  • Removal of dividing wall between auditoria underway.
  • Front section of Auditorium 2 floor removed to allow for a “rubble drop” down.
  • “A large opening has also been made in the back of the building to allow larger machinery inside the building.”
  • 1960’s conversion steelwork to be cut up and removed, leaving the building ready for the redevelopment.
  • Strip out due to be completed by end of June 2019.

The article also states that the licensing application has been approved.

CF100 on June 18, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Architects' Journal — 10/12/2018 — “Aedas reveals £20m plans for Bradford Odeon rebirth”.

The article includes renderings of the proposals, proposed ground floor plan, and photos inside the cinema building (partially stripped to the state required for the redevelopment.)

The planning application for the venue (approved):

Main planning application for the “Refurbishment and extension of former cinema to create an entertainment and event venue with supporting ancillary spaces including bars, ballroom and cabaret bar/restaurant and three-storey extension.”

A previous “CONSERVATION STATEMENT” (for a Lottery Funding application) notably informed by the Theatre’s Trust, 20th Century Society, Cinema Theatre Association, Cinema Theatre Organ Society, as well as the local authority and organisations has been used as a source for the document marked as “HERITAGE STATEMENT,” which in turn seems to have been largely incorporated into the document marked “DESIGN.”

The latter is therefore the most convenient “all-in-one” file to download; it includes extensive background information, alongside numerous photos of the cinema, including under construction, the original plans, the 1960’s conversion plans, and, of course, also covers the proposed scheme.

mike2001 on February 1, 2019 at 10:43 am

The building is now being restored as a live music venue at a cost of £22 million.

madorganplayer on December 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Ive just seen a programme with Michael Portillo about the Odeon.Apart from the Ballroom,the auditorium looks as if theres nothing left to conserve.

MarkFromBORG on May 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Message to scoombs… was your father Harry Hines?

scoombs on April 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

My father was the chief projectionist until 1964. I would like to follow the progress in restoration

70mmbobbyj on July 12, 2014 at 10:45 am

There was a report on BBC news about George Clarke visiting the cinema to share his views about this amazing space. {no pun intended.}

Mike_Blakemore on July 10, 2014 at 3:23 am

This is a very difficult Project as there is already a Fine Theatre in Bradford.. “The Alhambra” The Lottery Fund only gives money Providing other monies are obtained.. Another place to look is the EU communities Fund… Good Luck..

bertie09 on July 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Please don’t lose the odeon, Can I just say as a matter of thought,With it costing millions, Cant the Lottery fund step in and help, I cant see why not, Its an icon, Try your best, And hope it stays.

70mmbobbyj on May 9, 2013 at 3:01 am

It is reported that the council HAVE now purchased this building for the princely sum of £1-00.

CSWalczak on June 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm

In spite of all the gloomy reports about the Victoria/Gaumont/Odeon over the last several years, the building is still standing.

Here is a revised link to Colin Sutton’s extensive history of the theatre, with pictures.

And here is a link to the site of Bradford Odeon Rescue Group which advocates for an appropriate renovation of the theatre. They publish an occasional newsletter, and there are links on the page if one wishes to view it.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

Vintage photographs of the New Victoria Cinema, and its Wurlitzer organ console;

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

A vintage photograph of the New Victoria Cinema in 1931, soon after its opening:
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

You guys have such beautiful theatres and really great stories to read.

Cinefan on November 25, 2008 at 10:28 am

Posting 3 times in a row… I just know there’s something wrong.

But I come with good news, for those who live in Bradford and want to save this building anyways.

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Yes, you are reading that right. To be more justified, English Heritage is not allowing the New Victoria scheme to go ahead, including full demolition of the New Vic/Gaumont/Odeon. Now, if only BORG would submit their plans if a review period is set up again, instead of letting some ‘heartless’ developer come up with some smart alec solution that would involve destroying this as a cinema.

Cinefan on November 21, 2008 at 11:25 am

I’ve been putting this off, so better to take the stake to the heart now than later.

Bradford New Vic/Gaumont/ODEON has been refused listing and is doomed, here’s a link.
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Since I don’t live in Bradford, my opinion does not count and therefore, I resent my ‘Save this building’ comments here. They can do much better on the ODOEN/Paramount Newcastle which I’m near.
My guess is that BORG will do the dangerous and walk on the site, preventing the demoliton staff from destroying it. Then again, BORG knows not to do anything dangerous.

I didn’t inform BORG about said above article on my last comment and I will refuse to inform them about this, since I don’t live in Bradford and I’ve never been in the building properly.

Cinefan on September 29, 2008 at 11:45 am

Better look at this

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The council are allowing demolition of this grand picutre palace. It’s a case of them saying they can’t do it yet they can. In this case, they say that this cinema is unreparible, yet it can be listed and saved.

Totally unexcuseable.

I’ll be informing BORG about this.

cinemajames on September 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Just don’t think about the two new [horrible] small screens – look at some of the photos above. We should all look for the main auditorium [bingo], the ballroom and the restaurant; all of these areas have false lowered ceilings with original decorative plaster and decorations above.
English Heritage should look at all these areas/points before they say it is not worth listing!
And remember, it’s the New Victoria or Gaumont NOT the Odeon – the Odeon-built Odeon was on Manchester Rd 600 mts away.

Best regards to all

Cinefan on September 19, 2008 at 9:35 am

The Bradford Odeon could be saved. Check this newsbit out.

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If they say that it’s worth it, perhaps this could be saved. Although, they could say no and say that Demo is ok. And considering the changes done, I highly doubt the future of this building. I mean, screen 1 and 2 are pretty bare.

Ian on May 1, 2008 at 1:01 am

The condition of the former Odeon continues to deteriorate. The frontage onto Princes Way is looking particularly poor now, after the removal of the lightbox and canopy. Photos from April 2008 here:–

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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 30, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Two vintage and one current photographs of the Odeon, courtesy of the Cinema Theatre Association archives:
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