Theatre blockbuster Les Miserables took the Alhambra into the record books with a bumper £2.4million in ticket sales - and turned Bradford into a Boom City.

The show also attracted 110,000 people from all over Britain - the highest-ever audiences.

And the spellbound crowds boosted the theatre takings even more by munching their way through tens of thousands of pounds worth of ice cream, popcorn, sweets and crisps.

Business chiefs say the show - proving just the opposite to its title- brought a massive boost to the city economy during its 12-week run.

Surveys showed three quarters of the audiences were from outside Bradford and liked what they found.

It was a far cry from the crisis-hit theatre of 1992 which was in the red to the tune of £2 million.

Theatres General Manager John Botteley, who took over after the crisis said the problems were far in the past. He said the deficit had been recouped long ago and the Alhambra was going from strength to strength.

Today hoteliers and business leaders described how the city had boomed during the show's run which finished two weeks ago.

John Pennington, proprietor of the Pennington Midland Hotel, whose restaurant takings shot up by more than a third, said: "People loved the show and they loved Bradford.

"As far as the city is concerned this show had completely the wrong title. I've never seen anything like it.

"The only problem was that they were coming from all over the country, from every direction, and some people had difficulty finding car parking and the theatre.

"I hope the Alhambra can turn the magic on again for us."

Leisure committee chairman Barry Thorne said: "We knew it would be good, but it has left us speechless. A lot of people were like trekkies following Star Trek.

"I spoke to one person who'd seen it 18 times and said Bradford was definitely the best."

Sandie Needham, director of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: "People came to Bradford who would never have dreamed of coming here before.

"They spent time here and they stayed overnight.''

And the message from the chairman of the Council's regeneration committee, Councillor Dave Green, was: "Let's have more."

The final figures, announced today will help the Alhambra to meet its profit targets after a disappointing spring season.

Before Les Miserables, the theatre had suffered a gloomy spring, running behind its target profit of £170,000 set by Bradford Council for the four months up to August.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.