This is a view of the main auditorium shortly after opening in 1930. It was, and is, a huge space, with a seating capacity of 3500.
In 1968/69, the auditorium was subdivided into three separate spaces. The ground floor was converted into a bingo hall. This photograph, looking away from the former stage, was taken in October 2012, after some of the bingo seating had been removed.
The space created above the bingo hall was divided into two unequal size cinemas, lying side‐by‐side. This photograph, again taken in October 2012, is of the smaller Odeon 1.
This is a photograph of the bigger cinema, Odeon 2, with all seating and most furnishings removed. It was also taken in October, 2012.
The Bradford Live plan is to remove the bingo hall and former cinemas, and restore the original auditorium size. Our architect, Tim Ronalds, has created this stunning visual to show how the converted auditorium would look. It is worth comparing this with the photograph above of the original auditorium in 1930: the continuity with the past is there, but the space is adapted to an exciting new use.
There is a ‘northern wing’ to the former Odeon building, and it houses what was a ballroom above, and a restaurant below. This photograph, taken in about 1930 and looking west, shows the ballroom.
The ballroom was closed for some time before it was converted into ‘Odeon 3’ in the 1980s. Although much is hidden behind false walls and ceilings, this part of the building is perhaps the best preserved of all. Virtually all of the original ceiling, with only minor damage, remains. This photograph, taken in October 2012, is looking east, towards City Hall.
Tim Ronalds has created another fine visual to show how this restored ballroom venue would look. This view is looking west. Capable of holding several hundred people, the space would be ideally suited for smaller music concerts, fashion shows, exhibitions and other corporate events, and large wedding parties.
Beneath the ballroom exists the former restaurant, with a separate entrance on Thornton Road. This photograph, taken in about 1930, clearly shoes the fine art deco styling.
This photograph, and the one below, show parts of the restaurant still surviving today. Again, as with the ballroom, much is hidden away behind false ceilings and walls. This is the central ceiling boss decoration, which can be seen in the 1930 photograph above.
Another view of the former restaurant, looking east above the false ceiling. Part of one of the original windows can also be seen. Although we won’t be sure exactly how much of the original decoration remains until this area is stripped out, it does seem that the space could be restored relatively easily; creating a new restaurant, or perhaps, a large bar and lounge.
A photograph, again taken in about 1930, shows the original ‘crush lounge’. This was on the ground floor, with doors to the left leading into the stalls. It is not known how much of the original decoration here, and in the circle lounge areas on the floor above, remain. Under Bradford Live’s plan, the basic shape and dimensions of the lounges would be largely restored. If original elements of decoration do exist, these would be incorporated into the restoration, but without creating a ‘pastiche’: it would be a blend of old and new.
A recent photograph of the first floor of the Thornton Road tower. Above the false ceiling, the fine original art deco decoration, including the light fittings, remains, and would be restored under Bradford Live’s plan.