Aedas has submitted £20 million plans to convert Bradford’s empty Odeon cinema into a new concert venue
The much-anticipated project to overhaul the abandoned 1930s city-centre landmark is being backed by social enterprise Bradford Live. Once completed in late 2020, the 4,000-capacity music venue will be operated by NEC Group.
The scheme will see the main cinema and former bingo hall knocked together to return the huge auditorium to its original size.
Designed by William Illingworth, the Renaissance revival complex was one of the largest cinemas in the country when it opened, but was converted into a bingo hall and three smaller cinemas in 1969 before closing at the turn of the millennium.
Aedas’ scheme involves removing a number of later additions – such as the false ceiling above the main auditorium – as well as reinstating some of the original, remaining interiors.
The design and access statement reads: ’There is an aspiration to allow the shell of the original building to be clearly legible, while also making sense of its late 1920s/Art Deco lineage.’
Art deco inside bradford odeon december 2018
The cinema was almost demolished 10 years ago to make way for a Carey Jones Architects-designed office development. But that scheme was eventually abandoned and new ideas were sought for the building, which closed as a cinema in 2000.
Earlier this year the practice replaced Tim Ronalds on the job following the issue of a tender notice to develop the designs from RIBA Stage 3 onwards. Ronalds had been working with local businessman and Bradford Live director Lee Craven on concepts since 2011.
If approved, work could start on the scheme in summer 2019.
Start on site Summer 2019
Completion Autumn 2020
Gross internal floor area 8,900m² approx
Architect Aedas Arts Team
Client Bradford Live
Project manager Novus Project Management
Structural engineer Price + Myers
Acoustic consultant Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design
Theatre equipment consultant Carr and Angier
Fire consultant Innovation Fire
Cost consultant MACE
Access consultant Acivico
CDMC PFB Consultancy
Main contractor Tendering next year
Aj news editor richard waite in bradford odeon december 2018