THE story of Bradford Odeon has been a cliffhanger in the best tradition of a Flash Gordon Saturday morning serial.

This magnificent twin domed picture palace has dominated the city centre for 90 years.

More than two million bricks were used in its construction and the Italian Renaissance-inspired auditorium was capable of seating 3,500 people. The New Victoria, as it was known in the 1930s, brought a touch of glamour to the city during the golden era of the Hollywood studio system.

The proscenium, which towered 35ft above the stalls, was as breath-taking a sight as the movies projected on the 50ft wide screen.

In the 1960s it played host to, among others, the Beatles, Bill Haley and the Comets, Count Basie, Buddy Holly and a young Tom Jones. But when it closed in 2000 it seemed as though the curtain had come down on the Odeon for the final time.

Bradfordians, however, had other ideas. Many had grown up with the Odeon and had fond memories of the building. It may have been looking a bit shabby round the edges, but they could see the possibilities if it were to be restored.

The battle to find a new use for the building has been a long one. Several times it looked as if the Odeon was doomed, but Bradford Live, the not-for-profit social enterprise set up to save it, refused to give up.

Today we can reveal what the revamped Odeon’s interior will look like when it reopens as a live music venue in late 2020 - and what a magnificent attraction it will be. The plans are testament to the vision of the architects behind the scheme – and one in the eye for short-sighted critics who said the Odeon should be pulled down.