DO you remember watching a film at Bradford's Odeon cinema, dancing at The New Victoria or seeing a big name band at the Gaumont?

Memories of the Odeon building, and memorabilia such as concert tickets, posters cinema stubs, are wanted for a major project highlighting stories from its past.

Bradford's Impressions Gallery is inviting people to share memories of the city centre building for a 'mass participation' project resulting in a crowd-sourced exhibition in July 2022.

Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford is commissioned by Bradford Live - which is transforming the former Odeon building into a 4,000 capacity live events venue to be run by Birmingham-based NEC Group - and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Ahead of the opening of the new venue next year, Impressions is aiming to uncover the many memories that were made within the walls of the much-loved building, by inviting people to submit images, memorabilia and oral histories. Memories will be collated into a community archive, with chosen images and materials displayed at the upcoming exhibition at Impressions Gallery in City Park.

Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford is part of a programme of heritage activity funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to highlight the history of one of Bradford’s most loved buildings and the memories from it over the decades.

It will feature stories from the community, artefacts and memorabilia, oral histories and a mix of official and vernacular photographs.

"The building has been making memories since the 1930s and we are so pleased that Impressions Gallery has been entrusted with curating the Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford exhibition in partnership with Bradfordians young and old, said Anne McNeill, director of Impressions Gallery.

Chris Morrell from Bradford Live said: "Bradford Live is thrilled to be working with Impressions Gallery on this exhibition thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

"We’re very fortunate to have such a renowned gallery as our neighbour and we know that Impressions’ expertise and enthusiasm will deliver a worthy celebration of one of Bradford’s most loved buildings at this exciting time in its history."

David Renwick from The National Lottery Heritage Fund said the grant ensures "that the voices and memories of the community can be heard for generations to come."

Impressions Gallery is also seeking participants to help collect and document materials, carry out research in local archives, and record oral histories. Over the next 12 months Impressions will be sharing highlights on social media, as well as photographs from the call out, using the hashtag #BringingTheBeatBackToBradford

Originally built in 1930 as the New Victoria, the largest cine-variety theatre outside London, it was primarily a cinema, but also a concert venue with a stage, orchestra pit and Wurlitzer organ.

In 1950 the building was renamed the Gaumont, and operated as a cinema and Top Rank bingo hall. In the 1950s and 60s The New Victoria/Gaumont was a popular live music venue, attracting big name acts including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and His Comets, the Everly Brothers and Tom Jones.

After the Odeon closed in 2000 the building fell into disrepair and was added to the Theatres at Risk register in 2008. In 2014 Bradford Council approved a plan for a live music venue.

* For more about Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford go to