Blockbuster shows help Alhambra pull in 250,000 visitors a year

Blockbuster shows help Alhambra pull in 250,000 visitors a year

Bradford's Alhambra Theatre

Blockbuster shows help Alhambra pull in more visitors than any other Council attraction

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

THE Alhambra Theatre continues to be the jewel in Bradford's crown, drawing a quarter of a million visitors a year to the heart of the city, new figures show.

The landmark theatre celebrates its centenary this year, and visitor numbers revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show it pulls in far more people than any other Council-owned attraction.

Over the past five years, a total of 1,264,351 theatre-goers have passed through its doors.

But 'new kid on the block' attraction City Park is hot on its heels, with events there pulling in around 200,000 visitors a year.

The figures cover the five years to April this year.

Bradford Theatres' general manager Adam Renton said the local authority was expecting the Alhambra's visitor numbers to rise significantly this year, thanks to the huge success of recent blockbuster shows The Lion King and War Horse, which were watched by around 100,000 people in Bradford.

And this footfall did not just provide a huge boost to the city's economy, it also helped to transform the way people thought about Bradford, Mr Renton said.

He said: "The restaurant is now on the top floor and each night we have got 90 people sitting, overlooking City Park with it all lit up and the fountains going.

"You could be anywhere in Europe when you are up there, looking out. That's a vast amount of people who are coming into Bradford and leaving, having had a very good experience.

"That then ripples out and they start to feel more positive about the city. You have a lot more people coming in with their kids and feeling safe."

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council's executive member for culture, said getting the right shows and exhibitions was crucial to attracting visitors to theatres, museums and galleries.

She said: "The key is to get great content for the venues. Having a great venue is not enough."

For example, she said, upgraded facilities at Cartwright Hall art gallery meant it had been able to host a major exhibition of Rossetti's work.

St George's Hall in Bradford was the second most popular Council-owned theatre after the Alhambra, with an average of 87,725 visitors a year, followed by Kings Hall in Ilkley and the Alhambra Studio.

And Bradford Industrial Museum in Eccleshill was the most popular of Bradford Council's museums and galleries, with an average of 58,902 visitors a year, followed by Cliffe Castle in Keighley, Cartwright Hall in Lister Park, Bolling Hall in East Bowling and the Manor House in Ilkley.

Comments (13)

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9:26am Wed 13 Aug 14

buffetlegs says...

I think it is the largest, and definitely the best, receiving house in the north of England, with a nationwide good reputation. Also, an asset to the local community by showing local companies' productions, I have enjoyed many, many productions there over the decades, but sadly, now, the charging of a booking fee for tickets that are collected in person has put the cost beyond my budget, and to be honest, beyond the level of acceptability.
I think it is the largest, and definitely the best, receiving house in the north of England, with a nationwide good reputation. Also, an asset to the local community by showing local companies' productions, I have enjoyed many, many productions there over the decades, but sadly, now, the charging of a booking fee for tickets that are collected in person has put the cost beyond my budget, and to be honest, beyond the level of acceptability. buffetlegs
  • Score: 12

9:33am Wed 13 Aug 14

Joedavid says...

buffetlegs wrote:
I think it is the largest, and definitely the best, receiving house in the north of England, with a nationwide good reputation. Also, an asset to the local community by showing local companies' productions, I have enjoyed many, many productions there over the decades, but sadly, now, the charging of a booking fee for tickets that are collected in person has put the cost beyond my budget, and to be honest, beyond the level of acceptability.
Yes one should be able to get a ticket at the price quoted on it.
The add ons at the Alhambra are far greater than the other theaters I have attended.
[quote][p][bold]buffetlegs[/bold] wrote: I think it is the largest, and definitely the best, receiving house in the north of England, with a nationwide good reputation. Also, an asset to the local community by showing local companies' productions, I have enjoyed many, many productions there over the decades, but sadly, now, the charging of a booking fee for tickets that are collected in person has put the cost beyond my budget, and to be honest, beyond the level of acceptability.[/p][/quote]Yes one should be able to get a ticket at the price quoted on it. The add ons at the Alhambra are far greater than the other theaters I have attended. Joedavid
  • Score: 12

11:09am Wed 13 Aug 14

wayol1 says...

And to think this is a council owned and managed venue. The booking fee is nothing more than another stealth tax. Disgusting behaviour!!
And to think this is a council owned and managed venue. The booking fee is nothing more than another stealth tax. Disgusting behaviour!! wayol1
  • Score: 6

12:35pm Wed 13 Aug 14

WayneRouke says...

"But 'new kid on the block' attraction City Park is hot on its heels, with events there pulling in around 200,000 visitors a year."

How can you compare City Park to the Alhambra, by saying City Park is hot on the Alhambras heels.. Totally different attractions, attracting different crowd.. City Park is free and a kids paddling pool. Alhambra doesnt have a pool..
"But 'new kid on the block' attraction City Park is hot on its heels, with events there pulling in around 200,000 visitors a year." How can you compare City Park to the Alhambra, by saying City Park is hot on the Alhambras heels.. Totally different attractions, attracting different crowd.. City Park is free and a kids paddling pool. Alhambra doesnt have a pool.. WayneRouke
  • Score: 7

1:07pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Lynessman says...

A Glass Link to the new Odeon facility with shared facilities ?
A Glass Link to the new Odeon facility with shared facilities ? Lynessman
  • Score: 3

2:22pm Wed 13 Aug 14

basil fawlty says...

Some friends of mine from South Yorkshire came to the Alhambra recently and said they were very imprssed with their day in Bradford. They had a look around the city centre, had drinks at City Park and finished off with a curry at the Kashmir. They said they couldn't believe what great value the curry was. i'm sure they will be back and hopefully will recommend a visit to friends.
Some friends of mine from South Yorkshire came to the Alhambra recently and said they were very imprssed with their day in Bradford. They had a look around the city centre, had drinks at City Park and finished off with a curry at the Kashmir. They said they couldn't believe what great value the curry was. i'm sure they will be back and hopefully will recommend a visit to friends. basil fawlty
  • Score: 6

3:37pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Avro says...

Visitors to the Alhambra, most of which return home without spending another penny!
Visitors to the Alhambra, most of which return home without spending another penny! Avro
  • Score: -5

3:48pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Avro says...

"City Park is hot on its heels" - hardly surprising considering that the City Park is free, but its not making anything like the money that was forecast.
£2.5m is far short of the £80m that was promised, which was used to gain all party support. Never in a million years will City Park generate £80m a year and its already costing more money for its upkeep to rid the place of the wino plague!
"City Park is hot on its heels" - hardly surprising considering that the City Park is free, but its not making anything like the money that was forecast. £2.5m is far short of the £80m that was promised, which was used to gain all party support. Never in a million years will City Park generate £80m a year and its already costing more money for its upkeep to rid the place of the wino plague! Avro
  • Score: 1

4:28pm Wed 13 Aug 14

basil fawlty says...

Avro wrote:
"City Park is hot on its heels" - hardly surprising considering that the City Park is free, but its not making anything like the money that was forecast. £2.5m is far short of the £80m that was promised, which was used to gain all party support. Never in a million years will City Park generate £80m a year and its already costing more money for its upkeep to rid the place of the wino plague!
It's all history now but it would be interesting to see the details of how the £80M estimate was calculated. It was supposedly done by independent experts who presumably looked at the wider picture and considered factors beyond just the actual footfall at the park but new businesses being attracted to the city etc.
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: "City Park is hot on its heels" - hardly surprising considering that the City Park is free, but its not making anything like the money that was forecast. £2.5m is far short of the £80m that was promised, which was used to gain all party support. Never in a million years will City Park generate £80m a year and its already costing more money for its upkeep to rid the place of the wino plague![/p][/quote]It's all history now but it would be interesting to see the details of how the £80M estimate was calculated. It was supposedly done by independent experts who presumably looked at the wider picture and considered factors beyond just the actual footfall at the park but new businesses being attracted to the city etc. basil fawlty
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Wed 13 Aug 14

food_for_thought says...

The Alhambra - the ONLY reason my wife (Bradford born and bred) and my daughters (ditto) have set foot in the centre of Bradford in more than ten years! 'Jewel in the crown'? It IS the crown - there's nothing sparkly about the rest of the place!
The Alhambra - the ONLY reason my wife (Bradford born and bred) and my daughters (ditto) have set foot in the centre of Bradford in more than ten years! 'Jewel in the crown'? It IS the crown - there's nothing sparkly about the rest of the place! food_for_thought
  • Score: 4

6:26pm Wed 13 Aug 14

tinytoonster says...

basil fawlty wrote:
Some friends of mine from South Yorkshire came to the Alhambra recently and said they were very imprssed with their day in Bradford. They had a look around the city centre, had drinks at City Park and finished off with a curry at the Kashmir. They said they couldn't believe what great value the curry was. i'm sure they will be back and hopefully will recommend a visit to friends.
bradford councillor?
[quote][p][bold]basil fawlty[/bold] wrote: Some friends of mine from South Yorkshire came to the Alhambra recently and said they were very imprssed with their day in Bradford. They had a look around the city centre, had drinks at City Park and finished off with a curry at the Kashmir. They said they couldn't believe what great value the curry was. i'm sure they will be back and hopefully will recommend a visit to friends.[/p][/quote]bradford councillor? tinytoonster
  • Score: -1

8:18pm Wed 13 Aug 14

micela22 says...

maybe Council Tax payers in Bradford could have the booking fee waived? we`re not exactly the best paid in the country
maybe Council Tax payers in Bradford could have the booking fee waived? we`re not exactly the best paid in the country micela22
  • Score: 2

10:50pm Thu 14 Aug 14

BigFigure says...

Booking fees at Sheffield Theatres Box Offices,unless paying by cash, £1.50. I blame Bradford Council....
Booking fees at Sheffield Theatres Box Offices,unless paying by cash, £1.50. I blame Bradford Council.... BigFigure
  • Score: 2

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