Townsfolk mourn loss of Shipley cinema building

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A demolition vehicle ready to knock down the old cinema A demolition vehicle ready to knock down the old cinema

A former cinema which was destroyed in a blaze is due to be demolished over the weekend.

At the height of the inferno in Shipley, 60 firefighters were tackling the flames which led to the collapse of the floors in the 1930s building which used to be the Glen Royal cinema.

Firefighters were on stand-by yesterday as Bradford Council officers and demolition workers ensured the building was safe enough for contractors to move in. The demolition work had been due to start yesterday but was delayed.

Bingley Fire Station Commander Andy Clayton said the building was full of flammable items such as old furniture and film reels.

But he said the fire could have been much worse had it not been for the quick response of the public and firefighters.

“The building has three floors and we were concerned about it, but thanks to the public ringing in early we were able to get there early and do a good stop,” he said.

Mr Clayton said the fire was under control within two hours, but firefighters stayed to damp down and he left at about 3am yesterday.

He said the cause of the fire was being investigated by the fire service and police.

“Buildings which have been shut up for about ten years don’t just catch fire by themselves,” he said.

About 300 people gathered to watch fire crews tackle the blaze, including the owner of neighbouring dance school DM Academy.

Deana Morgan said she had been told she may not be able to access the building until tomorrow.

“The fire started at about 8pm, the time our classes were finishing so we were able to vacate the building,” said Mrs Morgan. “It’s a shame that it’s gone, but the fact it was deteriorating means that now maybe something will have to be done with it. It may galvanise a new project.”

She has managed to hire space at Victoria Hall, in Victoria Road, Saltaire instead and pupils are advised to go there for their class and look at the school’s website for updates.

Built as a sparkling showpiece at a cost of £25,000 in 1932, the blaze at the former Glen Royal cinema has prompted fond memories of a lost age.

Life-long film buff Frank Senior went there every Saturday as a boy starting 86 years ago.

Sitting in his immaculate home near Bingley Road, Mr Senior 94, said: “I’ve lost a good friend – every time I went past the Glen Royal it took me back to my cinema-going days.

“I’d go to the Saturday morning matinees as a boy and then three or four times a week when I was a young man studying at Shipley Technical College.”

Shipley resident Allan Foster is a projectionist at the National Media Museum and chief projectionist at the Hyde Park Cinema, Leeds, and stood watching yesterday as a crane began initial work ahead of the Glen Royal’s demolition.

“It’s a real tragedy – the end of an era,” said Mr Foster, 68, of Rosebery Avenue. “I used to go there when it was a bingo hall in order to look after the organ which was still in place.

“After it closed I know it suffered lot of vandalism and any valuable fittings were stolen, but it was still an important building.”

Bingo brought new life to the Glen Royal after it closed as a cinema and Shipley indoor market trader Sharon Thompkins recalled how that was a major part of life for the women in her family.

“My mother and grandma went, all my aunties went – bingo at the Glen Royal was one of those family things where everyone got together.”

In 2007, there were plans to replace the building with a £7 million housing development, but the project was scrapped. In 2009 there was a suspected arson attack there.

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:55am Sat 19 Jan 13

birday says...

Um ... wonder what the financial status of the owner is ..... and how quickly a developer will be in there building poorly built flats or match box houses with no front garden etc for massive profit?
Um ... wonder what the financial status of the owner is ..... and how quickly a developer will be in there building poorly built flats or match box houses with no front garden etc for massive profit? birday

8:37am Sat 19 Jan 13

Joedavid says...

If this was a listed building a public enquiry needed into how it was allowed to get into the state it was and now destroyed by fire.
Also if this building which as far as I can see had nothing special about it over other old cinemas got listed and English Heritage would not list the Odeon/New Victoria in Bradford this also needs a very close investigation.
If this was a listed building a public enquiry needed into how it was allowed to get into the state it was and now destroyed by fire. Also if this building which as far as I can see had nothing special about it over other old cinemas got listed and English Heritage would not list the Odeon/New Victoria in Bradford this also needs a very close investigation. Joedavid

8:38am Sat 19 Jan 13

The Hoffster says...

birday wrote:
Um ... wonder what the financial status of the owner is ..... and how quickly a developer will be in there building poorly built flats or match box houses with no front garden etc for massive profit?
We should ask Mr Silverstein... he who bought the lease for the twin towers just weeks before they were hit...
[quote][p][bold]birday[/bold] wrote: Um ... wonder what the financial status of the owner is ..... and how quickly a developer will be in there building poorly built flats or match box houses with no front garden etc for massive profit?[/p][/quote]We should ask Mr Silverstein... he who bought the lease for the twin towers just weeks before they were hit... The Hoffster

8:54am Sat 19 Jan 13

thatsnotmyname says...

Joedavid wrote:
If this was a listed building a public enquiry needed into how it was allowed to get into the state it was and now destroyed by fire.
Also if this building which as far as I can see had nothing special about it over other old cinemas got listed and English Heritage would not list the Odeon/New Victoria in Bradford this also needs a very close investigation.
Plenty of listed buildings in Bradford that are in a bad way.
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: If this was a listed building a public enquiry needed into how it was allowed to get into the state it was and now destroyed by fire. Also if this building which as far as I can see had nothing special about it over other old cinemas got listed and English Heritage would not list the Odeon/New Victoria in Bradford this also needs a very close investigation.[/p][/quote]Plenty of listed buildings in Bradford that are in a bad way. thatsnotmyname

9:10am Sat 19 Jan 13

Historic says...

I can't say I am not please to see this go,because I am.it has been a eye sore for many years just a shame nothing was done with the building so it wasn't in the state it was
I can't say I am not please to see this go,because I am.it has been a eye sore for many years just a shame nothing was done with the building so it wasn't in the state it was Historic

9:58am Sat 19 Jan 13

BASSA1 says...

The last one when you think there used to be five inciuding baildon .

Many happy saturday mornings.
The last one when you think there used to be five inciuding baildon . Many happy saturday mornings. BASSA1

12:12pm Sat 19 Jan 13

rjrandall1 says...

It is a shame that a building like this with so much history has been destroyed.

As a way of remembering the Glen Royal, I have set up a blog for anybody who would like to share their experiences, memories and stories if the building.

You can access it at: http://glenroyalcine
mamemories.wordpress
.com
It is a shame that a building like this with so much history has been destroyed. As a way of remembering the Glen Royal, I have set up a blog for anybody who would like to share their experiences, memories and stories if the building. You can access it at: http://glenroyalcine mamemories.wordpress .com rjrandall1

12:13pm Sat 19 Jan 13

RollandSmoke says...

The question needs to be asked as to how much the listing of buildings contributes to their demise due to the added expense involved in making repairs in keeping with the original design?. When no-one can justify the expense of bringing these buildings back to their former glory and the owner is stuck with a building that can't be sold or demolished these fires tend to solve their problems quite effectively.

HELP, MISSING CAT
could readers in the Shipley area keep their eyes peeled for my cat Luka who has been missing from his home in the Crag Road area of Windhill since January 4th.
http://www.animalsea


rchuk.co.uk/find-los


t-pets/view-pet.php?


p=119461&prt=1
The question needs to be asked as to how much the listing of buildings contributes to their demise due to the added expense involved in making repairs in keeping with the original design?. When no-one can justify the expense of bringing these buildings back to their former glory and the owner is stuck with a building that can't be sold or demolished these fires tend to solve their problems quite effectively. HELP, MISSING CAT could readers in the Shipley area keep their eyes peeled for my cat Luka who has been missing from his home in the Crag Road area of Windhill since January 4th. http://www.animalsea rchuk.co.uk/find-los t-pets/view-pet.php? p=119461&prt=1 RollandSmoke

3:40pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Not so simple says...

Buildings don't just catch fire. How is it that in Bradford, especially in the last twenty years numerous empty buildings have burnt down and been demolished.
Am I the only one who smells a rat?
Police working with the brilliant fire service should investigate further to ensure no fraud or rat is responsible.
Buildings don't just catch fire. How is it that in Bradford, especially in the last twenty years numerous empty buildings have burnt down and been demolished. Am I the only one who smells a rat? Police working with the brilliant fire service should investigate further to ensure no fraud or rat is responsible. Not so simple

4:12pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Joedavid says...

You could be right but it needs to be looked at if the GlenRoyal had not caught fire it would just have stood for another 10 years or what ever.
You could be right but it needs to be looked at if the GlenRoyal had not caught fire it would just have stood for another 10 years or what ever. Joedavid

4:49pm Sat 19 Jan 13

RollandSmoke says...

Not so simple wrote:
Buildings don't just catch fire. How is it that in Bradford, especially in the last twenty years numerous empty buildings have burnt down and been demolished.
Am I the only one who smells a rat?
Police working with the brilliant fire service should investigate further to ensure no fraud or rat is responsible.
No the rat is very stinky, why the rush to demolish the place before any real investigation of the cause of the fire was carried out?. Too late now though, it's just a pile of rubble
[quote][p][bold]Not so simple[/bold] wrote: Buildings don't just catch fire. How is it that in Bradford, especially in the last twenty years numerous empty buildings have burnt down and been demolished. Am I the only one who smells a rat? Police working with the brilliant fire service should investigate further to ensure no fraud or rat is responsible.[/p][/quote]No the rat is very stinky, why the rush to demolish the place before any real investigation of the cause of the fire was carried out?. Too late now though, it's just a pile of rubble RollandSmoke

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree