Bringing the beat back to Bradford

It’s Bradford Live’s 90th birthday!

23 Sep 2020

Bradford Live, from City Park - Bradford Live
Bradford Live, from City Park ( Bradford Live )

On 22nd September 1930, the New Victoria opened in the heart of Bradford. So, it was only right that on 22nd September 2020, we celebrated our iconic building’s 90th birthday!

The venue has a powerful history, with the New Victoria theatre, cinema and ballroom dubbed the largest ‘picture palace’ ever built in England outside of greater London. It then began an era as the Gaumont in 1950, hosting global stars such as Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles on its stage.

In 1969, the building became the Odeon Film Centre & Top Ranking Bingo Club and eventually closed in 2000. A campaign to save the building from demolition started in 2002, with Birmingham-based NEC Group and Bradford Live then uniting forces to restore the venue in 2017.

To mark the occasion, local historian Mark Nicholson has curated a slideshow comparing how the inside of New Victoria looked back in September 1930 compared to photographs taken on the 90th birthday. 

To take a look, head over to our new YouTube channel where you can also watch the first in our series of Podcasts as part of a programme of heritage activity funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which will share the history and redevelopment of one of Bradford’s most loved buildings with the people of the city.

We would also like to take this opportunity to once again thank our fantastic supporters, and we look forward to bringing you more updates soon ahead of our 2022 opening.

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