THE striking sight of the grand screen on the former Odeon theatre marks a pivotal moment for Bradford’s new 3,800-capacity live music venue.

The 1930s building - which once housed a theatre and cinema - is being brought back to life as Bradford Live.

With possibilities of Tokyo and Times Square-style 3D visuals to gaming, it has been hailed as a big opportunity by director Chris Morrell.

The curved screen is believed to be the biggest urban screen outside of Piccadilly Circus, according to Bradford Live.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The grand screen now installed at Bradford Live, formerly the Odeon theatreThe grand screen now installed at Bradford Live, formerly the Odeon theatre (Image: T&A)

“There was a lot of discussion about whether we should have a screen as big as this one,” said Chris.

“It will be an iconic feature of the city centre. 

“It will now be 10 days or two weeks before we switch the screen on properly and display any kind of content.

“We’ve probably been looking at it for 10 years. It’s interesting how technology has changed over the last 10 years. These screens have been a lot lighter and more flexible. It fits the contours of the building.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The grandeur of Bradford LiveThe grandeur of Bradford Live (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

“It all works as one big TV screen.”

Describing potential features on the screen, Chris said: “It’s going to pay its way.

"It’s going to have to have some advertising on it. That’s inevitable. But we can do all sorts of things with it. There’s potential for gaming, kids could come down and game with friends. We can live broadcast. There’s also a possibility of integrating some audio into City Park, that people could listen to. There’s quite a lot of opportunity. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

“The media partners we’ve been talking to, if you’ve seen Japan or Times Square there’s 3D content that works quite well on bigger screens. Hopefully, we can combine a lot of stuff together. 

“There’ll be an element of city information, of what’s on. 

“It becomes a window for the entertainment quarter of the city.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The screen being tested on Tuesday, March 5The screen being tested on Tuesday, March 5 (Image: Newsquest, Mike Simmonds)

Bradford Live has promised top music acts from the British, Asian, and international music scenes, comedians, and family entertainment.

Bradford Live will be handing the venue over to operator, the NEC Group, by mid-2024, before the group completes the final fit-out in the following months.

The interior of the building has been completely transformed into a music venue fit for the modern day whilst retaining some traditional features.

Speaking about progress inside the building, Chris said: “It’s really looking like a venue. It’s really feeling like it’s coming together. There’s lots of work to do. There’s 200 people on site every day.

“We’ve always seen it as a pivotal point in the regeneration of Bradford. Bradford needs a boost. Having an exciting music venue with a big screen will hopefully change people’s perceptions  and get the city moving again.”