A SPECIAL podcast has been released to mark the opening of Bradford's New Victoria cinema building, 90 years ago today.

Described on the day as an "everlasting landmark", the building has been known by many guises.

It was renamed the Gaumont in 1950, then converted into the Odeon cinema in 1969, before closing its doors in 2000.

More recently the building is set for its fourth lease of life as Bradford Live, a 4,000 capacity live events venue operated by the NEC Group.

To mark the anniversary of its grand opening in 1930, Bradford Live has unveiled a podcast with local historian Mark Nicholson, to reminisce about that day 90 years ago.

Bradford Live said: "On 22nd September 1930, the New Victoria opened in the heart of Bradford.

"Dubbed the largest ‘picture palace’ ever built in England outside of greater London, it included a huge main auditorium, ballroom, restaurant and multiple lounges.

"90 years later, it might not currently be the venue it once was, but with the dedication of our team and our FANTASTIC supporters, that is set to change!"

In the podcast, Odeon historian Mark Nicholson details how spectators had started to gather outside the cinema building at 10am that Monday morning, ahead of its 2.30pm opening.

The first part of the building to open to the public was the New Victoria restaurant at noon, and a luncheon party were taking place in the ballroom above for local dignitaries.

He describes how Provincial Cinematograph Theatres had prepared its opening publication to commemorate the opening of the New Victoria.

"Included within its pages was detailed technical information about the theatres construction, descriptions of its many facilities plus forthcoming entertainment notice. The text also highlighted the revolutionary experience it was hoped the theatre would contribute to 1930s local cinema going," said Mr Nicholson.

"It said: 'Today sees the opening of the New Victoria Bradford the very last word in cinema construction and a striking example of the progress that is taking place in the cinema world.

"Cinema today has reached so high a state that in each new building consideration must be given to many features which are now regarded as necessary to a modern luxury entertainment house - restaurant, ballroom, café, lounges - all the considered essentials in the planning of the modern cinema.

"And all of these features constructed with consummate engineering skills and incorporating every modern improvement are found at the New Victoria thus making it a complete centre of entertainment."

At the opening PCT said of all its 300 cinemas and music halls, it regarded Bradford had "the best of them all" and that the architect, William Illingworth, had delivered a "design triumph".

Mr Nicholson added that comments that "a citizen of Bradford has erected an everlasting landmark in his native city" were greeted with much applause.

Newspaper reports at the time were equally glowing, with the Yorkshire Observer saying it was "something of a distinction to be called upon to design the biggest and best theatre owned by such as influential company as the PCT".

The Lord Mayor also paid tribute to all those who had contributed towards the delivery of the New Victoria, and added that approximately 500 Bradford workmen had been involved in fitting out the building, A Mickey Mouse cartoon was first on the cinema screen at the New Victoria, with the main programme following - the main feature film, Rookery North.

Mr Nicholson ended his podcast with the words of a review from the Telegraph & Argus itself: "They said there has never been anything like the New Victoria in Bradford before. It is the last word in cinema construction. The beauty of the building, the comfortable seating arrangements and high standard of entertainment provided, makes it a rendezvous for all who appreciate everything good in pictures, music, song and dance."

Earlier this month it was revealed that the search for a contractor for the main work to transform Bradford's former Odeon building into a live music venue had begun.

In addition Bradford Live and Birmingham-based NEC Group confirmed that the venue's opening date has been delayed to 2022.

READ MORE: ODEON: Bradford Live opening date delayed as contractor search begins