Campaigners are still hoping to save the double-domed landmark, which has been earmarked for demolition as part of Will Alsop's radical masterplan for the West Yorkshire city.
However, the announcement yesterday (13 September) is yet another nail in the coffin for the red-brick building, believed to be the only surviving cinema designed by the prolific film theatre architect William Illingworth.
The three architect and developer teams shortlisted to overhaul the site are: Carey Jones with Langtree; Studio Egret West with Bioregional Quintain; and Dyer with PPG.
The most interesting bid could be that by Studio Egret West, a practice which was born out of Alsop Architects last year. Partner David West is known to have been closely involved with drawing up the original Bradford masterplan.
Commenting on the competition Marc Cole, Director of Operations with Bradford Centre Regeneration said: 'The shortlisted firms have demonstrated that they share both our confidence in the regeneration of Bradford and our aspirations to establish a new benchmark in the quality of architectural design in the city.'
He added: 'We will ensure that people in Bradford have the chance to comment on these schemes. It is important to us that those living and working in the city are involved with this process and are a part of the regeneration process at every possible level.
'We are wholly committed to working with developers to strike a balance between quality design and commercial viability,' he added.
The winner is expected to be announced next year.
Finalists named in competition to develop threatened Bradford cinema