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

Later known as the Gaumont Cinema / Odeon Film Centre

Bradford Index

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

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

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 Period

In 1950 the Theatre had a change of name to Gaumont and in 1954 it was fitted for CinemaScope, the first of its kind in Bradford.

Odeon Film Centre Period

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.In 1969 the Theatre was renamed the Odeon Film Centre when it was subdivided into two large Cinemas, built in the former Circles, and a 1,000 seat Bingo Hall in the former Stalls.

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 work was done by Glasgow's Gavin Peterson & Sons. Sadly most of the internal decoration to the auditorium was lost in the conversion. The Stage however was retained and incorporated into the Bingo Hall. A third Cinema was later incorporated into the former ballroom in 1988.

In 1997 the Bingo Hall closed down and the three Cinemas followed suit in 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 is seriously endangered and may yet be demolished. You can read much more about all this and get involved here.

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