PEOPLE with memories, photographs and memorabilia from Bradford's former Odeon building are invited to contribute to a major exhibition opening this summer.

Impressions Gallery has partnered with Bradford Live on a heritage project looking at the history of the much-loved building.

Whether it's watching a blockbuster at the Odeon cinema, calling ‘house’ at the Top Rank bingo hall or going to see a band in the dance hall days, stories of the venue can be shared at drop-in events at the gallery from now until the end of April.

People can find out more about the project, and the Bradford Live re-development, and bring in memorabilia to be digitised and added to a growing community archive.

Artefacts and oral histories will form part of the Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford exhibition opening at Impressions Gallery on July 23. It's part of a programme funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund highlighting the history of the building and people who used it. Impressions Gallery director Anne McNeill said: “Since November we've been speaking to local people about their much-loved archives and assorted memories. There’s a lot of Bradfordian love out there for this building.

"We're now asking people to come to our workshops with their photographs and memorabilia so we can fill the gallery walls with memories.”

Some of the world's biggest music acts appeared at the venue, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Shirley Bassey. “When I saw The Beatles there I hardly heard anything for the screams but I didn’t care, it was fantastic!” recalls Anne Bailey.

Sylvia Parratt says: "I have a poster from a 1965 Rolling Stones concert at the Gaumont that both myself and my husband attended. We didn’t know each other at the time. Years later we had the poster framed and noticed the concert date, October 4, was the same date as our wedding anniversary!"

Impressions have found couples who met on the dance floor, and students who sneaked into concerts instead of going to classes. There's also footage of people ‘hugging’ the building when it was under threat from demolition.

The Odeon’s sell-out screenings of Hollywood blockbusters in the 1970s and 80s are also etched in memories. The Star Wars opening weekend, in December 1977 has become part of the city’s folklore for its innovative use of a glitter ball during the exploding Death Star scene. In 1998 the cinema hosted the UK premiere of Fairytale: A True Story, a film about the Cottingley Fairies.

Susan Saye recalls going to see Star Wars: “I remember queueing round the block...the carpet in the foyer and up the grand staircase was deep red. The first scene, in a galaxy far, far away, was nothing like we'd seen before. An unforgettable experience.”

Adds Lee Goater: "My strongest memory of Bradford Odeon is my dad taking my brother and I to see the Star Wars Triple Bill. Being able to see all three films in a cinema was epic. We took a backpack full of sandwiches. I remember the smell of the foyer and the excitement. We went in the morning and came out at night. I think about that epic cinema visit every time I see the Odeon building."

* Memorabilia can be submitted at the 'scanathon' drop-in events, via the website, impressions-gallery. com/ BringingTheBeatBack, or by emailing