For the first time in 17 years, and for one night only, members of the public will step inside Bradford’s former Odeon after the BBC chose the building to screen the Doctor Who Christmas special, Twice Upon A Time.

On December 22, 600 lucky people, picked from thousands who applied through a ballot to BBC website Shows and Tours, will get the chance in two sittings to see Peter Capaldi in his last appearance as the twelfth Doctor. 75% of seats were reserved for applicants with a Bradford postcode.

The screening will be cut short before his regeneration into the first ever female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, to save the surprise for the Christmas Day showing on BBC1.

Capaldi will be joined by David Bradley who reprises his role as the first Doctor and will bear an uncanny resemblance to William Hartnell, who filled those shoes when Doctor Who first came on our screens in 1963.

The BBC's initial publicity for the screening listed the address of the Odeon multiplex in Thornbury, but it has now been confirmed that the city centre landmark is the true venue.

For those involved in bringing the Odeon back to life as a major live music venue, the fact the BBC picked the building to screen the Christmas special is all the more poignant.

A move to have the building restored in a £20 million scheme is hoped to be completed in 2020.

Tomorrow, Bradford Council is expected to announce whether it will agree a £12 million loan to Bradford Live to help the project get off the ground.

NEC Group International has already agreed a £2 million input and has signed a 30-year-lease as the preferred operator.

A further £4 million is hoped to be forthcoming if the scheme is successful in a funding bid to the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.

David Wilson, director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film said he was delighted.

“The BBC is regularly in Bradford and wanted somewhere unusual to screen the Dr Who Christmas special. They asked if they could use the Odeon and we said yes as long as they could get agreement from Bradford Council and do the risk assessments and health and safety checks through council officers.

“It is really a BBC event, we have just helped facilitate them using the Odeon and were really happy to do so.”

Lee Craven, director of Bradford Live which is leading the drive to transform the building said: “It is really good that the building is going to be used in this way. It is the first time in over 17 years since any members of the public have been allowed to go in and will be the last time people will see it as they remember it before it is redeveloped and changed inside.

“I think this event will appeal to both Dr Who fans and those who want to see the Odeon brought back to life.”

Arron Fishwick, events producer with the BBC, said: “We were looking for a space in the area for the screening and fell in love with the Odeon. We learned all about the plans to reopen it and the fact it is an historic building ties in well with Doctor Who and time travelling. The main auditorium is being prepared with extra lights. All the safety checks have been made and there will be props and a red carpet on the day.”

Doctor Who fans will see all but the last 30 seconds of the special which will be screened in full on BBC One on Christmas day.”