Bradford Odeon

One of the largest ciné-variety theatres of its day, boasting a ballroom, restaurant and 3,000+ seat auditorium with many restorable original features.

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Address
Prince’s Way, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 2BS
Risk Rating
7 (risk rating: 3, star rating: 1, community rating: 3)
Local Group
Bradford Live
Architect
William Illingworth
Date of Construction
1930
Listing
Not listed
Capacity
3,500

Significance

Opened as the New Victoria in 1930, this was the largest ciné-variety theatre outside of London and the third largest in England. It also housed a grand ballroom, restaurant and tea room. Many of the original features are currently concealed behind a late 60’s fit-out which saw the building converted to cinema and bingo use, but are restorable. The building contributes materially to the Bradford townscape, makes a good neighbour for the Alhambra Theatre and would help to regenerate this area as a cultural quarter for Bradford.

Why is this theatre at risk?

The Odeon Cinema closed in 2000 and other than urgent repairs has not been properly maintained. It has been the subject of various applications for demolition (approval for demolition was gained in 2009), however none of these came to pass.

Current situation

Following an Expressions of Interest competition Bradford Live has been working with the local authority and other potential investors since December 2014 to reopen the venue. This has included making the Odeon safe and weathertight and reroofing the landmark domes. The next step is to strip back the late 1960s cinema fit-out and demolish the steel structure separating the bingo and cinema screens which will allow the enormity of the original 1930 auditorium to be fully revealed.

Campaign video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUUwQFW2BJ0

Image: Bradford Odeon, Ian Grundy