MEMBERS of Bradford Civic Society were given a guided tour of the former Bradford Odeon building.

A total of 40 society members were shown around the city centre building, which closed in June 2000, by Lee Craven, of developers Bradford Live.

They were taken to the site’s bingo hall, where The Beatles and The Rolling Stones performed, and its cabaret bar.


Posters, including for Barbra Streisand’s film Funny Girl, are still on display inside the 1930s building’s ballroom. The members were also given a glimpse of its former cinemas.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Civic Society members in the ballroom during their guided tour of the site
Bradford Civic Society members in the ballroom during their guided tour of the site

The one-off night of tours were a thankyou to the society, which launched a campaign to urge Bradford Council to submit a funding bid.

The society started an online petition, on website, calling for the Leeds City Region to put forward the Odeon for funding to be turned back into a live venue. It has so far gathered 2,683 signatures.

Bradford Live and Bradford Council announced last week they will bid for funding from a new Government fund set up to regenerate parts of the North.

Grants of up to £4 million are available from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund to a small number of transformational projects, as part of the legacy of the Great Exhibition of the North, which will take place in Newcastle next summer.

Si Cunningham, Bradford Civic Society chairman, said: “We feel quite lucky to get this privileged access.

“These tours help continue to make sure we have a good relationship with Bradford Live.

“It was a members-only event. People have signed up as members just to come on this tour. This building is the missing link in Bradford.”

Alan Hall, 71, vice-chairman of the society, said he remembered watching A Woman Like Satan, a film starring Brigitte Bardot, at the Odeon.

He said: “I used to come to the cinema in the early 1960s. But now it is difficult to think what it was like here.

“The building needs to be back in action.”

Mr Craven said: “We appreciate the civic society’s support. We are continuing to work hard on securing the operator.”