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Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

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The New Victoria Theatre, Princes Way, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Later known as the Gaumont Cinema / Odeon Cinemas and Bingo

Bradford Index

The New Victoria and Alhambra Theatres, Bradford - From a Postcard.

Above - The Bradford Alhambra Theatre to the left, and the New Victoria Theatre to the right - From a Postcard.

Theatreshire Books  - Click to View Inventory

The auditorium of the New Victoria Theatre, Bradford from a 35mm negative which was reproduced from a 3 1/4" glass glass slide of nearly 80 years ago by John Scwires - Courtesy Colin Sutton.The New Victoria Theatre in Princes Way, Bradford was built by William Illingworth on the site of William Whittaker's Brewery which closed in 1928. The Theatre was built as a vast ciné-variety Theatre with 3,318 seats on three levels, Stalls, Circle and Balcony, and opened on Monday the 22nd of September 1930.

Right - The auditorium of the New Victoria Theatre, Bradford from a 35mm negative which was reproduced from a 3 1/4" glass glass slide of nearly 80 years ago by John Scwires - Courtesy Colin Sutton.

The Theatre had a very large stage with a proscenium opening of 50 foot and a depth of 45 foot, and a moving platform which could deliver an entire orchestra from the back of the stage to the front, and the orchestra pit itself included a Wurlitzer pipe organ on a rising platform. The Theatre also had twelve Dressing Rooms and was capable of staging very large live productions quite apart from its use as a Cinema. The New Victoria also incorporated two flats for management, a restaurant seating over 200 people, and a large and elegant ballroom.

A Watercolour rendition of the New Victoria Theatre, Bradford kindly sent in by George Richmond.

Above - A Watercolour rendition of the New Victoria Theatre, Bradford kindly sent in by George Richmond who says 'I have taken the colour pallet from a description of the auditorium given in the article I found by following the link from this Theatre's page. Pinks, stone, yellow and orange sounded rather odd but seem to work quite well in the finished work.' Click for an Index to all of George Richmond's Paintings on this site.

Gaumont / Odeon Period

The auditorium of the New Victoria Theatre, Bradford before the conversion to cinema and bingo use. The image is from a 35mm negative which was reproduced from a 3 1/4 inch glass glass slide of nearly 80 years ago by John Scwires - Courtesy Colin Sutton.In 1950 the Theatre had a change of name to Gaumont, but was closed in 1968 for major alterations. The Theatre's Circles were made into one level and then split down the middle to create two new cinemas. And the former stalls area of the Theatre was turned into a 2,000 seat Bingo Hall. The Theatre's stage area was left untouched but would not be used again. The work was done by Glasgow's Gavin Peterson & Sons.

Right - The auditorium of the New Victoria Theatre, Bradford before the conversion to cinema and bingo use. The image is from a 35mm negative which was reproduced from a 3 1/4 inch glass glass slide of nearly 80 years ago by John Scwires - Courtesy Colin Sutton.

Sadly most of the internal decorations to the auditorium were lost in the conversion. The Cinemas opened on the 21st of August 1969 under the Odeon name. A third Cinema was later incorporated into the Theatre's former ballroom in 1987.

In 1997 the Bingo Hall closed down and the three Cinemas followed suit in July 2000 leaving the vast building unoccupied and under threat of demolition. Since then, local residents have fought to have the building preserved or restored but the building has long been seriously endangered and under threat. However, in 2019 it was reported that a new future for the Odeon as a live music venue is in the offing. Bradford Live, a not for profit charitable company, founded in 2012, was granted the right to redevelop the building in 2014, and in March 2018 they secured initial funding and have been working on the plans for the regeneration of the building back into a single large space capable of seating 3,500, or 4,000 with standing in the former stalls area. And then at Christmas 2018/19 work actually started on the restoration of the former Theatre's giant auditorium so the building's future now looks a lot more secure. More details on Bradford Live's own Website here.

A Google StreetView Image showing the Bradford Alhambra Theatre to the left and the former New Victoria Theatre to the right - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image showing the Bradford Alhambra Theatre to the left and the former New Victoria Theatre to the right - Click to Interact.

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