Bradford has become my stomping grounds over the last year or so due to me moving in with mussis squiz. Now this city has many a treasure tucked away from old mills to drains to tower cranes.
The one place that has been eluding me over the last year (and quite a few experienced explorers since it was last done a few years back) has been the old Odeon which stands right in the centre of Bradford overlooking the maginficent town hall and on the fringe of the new developments looking forlorn and like a fat ugly burd at a prom night that no one wants to dance with!
The local papers have been covering this building especially over the legal wranglings over the years between the local rescue group (BORG) and vareous developers since the place closed in July 2000 (infact as I type there is a public meeting about this building in the town hall).
August 2000 - The Odeon is sold to Grange Estates, a private developer
November 2001 - Planning permission to demolish the Odeon and construct a hotel/casino complex is granted
May 2003 - Prior to a planned property auction Yorkshire Forward [YF] buy the Odeon for £2M
Autumn 2003 - Following early indications that the Odeon would be demolished as per Alsop‘s Masterplan, Norman and Julie Littlewood found the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group [BORG] and begin their campaign to save the building
May 2006 - BCR put the final three shortlisted designs for the Odeon site to “public consultation”, with only one scheme retaining any aspect of the Odeon - its towers proving to be the most popular with the public
June 2006 - The Bradford Civic Society chairs a public debate on the Odeon with BORG and BCR representing either side of the argument. BCR are savaged by the public and the Civic Society throws its support behind BORG
November 2007 - Following unnecessary and extreme works to remove “unsafe” canopies, BORG’s Building Preservation Request (backed by over 1,000 petition signatures) to protect the Odeon from further acts of sabotage is accepted and upheld by Bradford Council
March 2008 - BORG not only produce their own architect visuals for a refurbished Odeon, they also announce they have private sector buyer and developer interest
June 2008 - The Odeon receives its first ever structural survey, which concluded with the view that no major defects exist within the building
July 2008 - BORG publish the first edition of The Odeon Observer and unveil Nirmal Singh as their buyer
October 2008 - Yorkshire Forward and their developer Langtree Artisan finally submit the planning application for New Victoria Place, which receives blanket condemnation, including English Heritage which scuppers the chances of this third incarnation
February 2009 - Bradford Council lose BORG’s objection to the original planning application.
May 2009 - It is announced that BCR are to be “wound up”
July 2009 - A revised planning application for New Victoria Place is submitted, with the support of English Heritage, who seem to have mysteriously changed their minds…
September 2009 - Despite over 2,000 public objection representations being received, with only two in support, Bradford Council’s Regulatory & Appeals [R & A] Committee approve demolition of the Odeon subject to a Section 106 Agreement to ensure another Westfield debacle is spared
July 2010 - Pressure is mounting to ensure the ownership of our Odeon be returned to Bradford Council so the people of Bradford’s views can be properly represented.
I visited this place with Bigjobs and Skydiver and will probably be going again with them due to the sheer size of the place and time constraints so here are a few pics of it
Behind the breezeblock work I found this (and managed to give my lungs a fire rating of an hour due to dust)
Rectifiers for both screens.
Screen 1 projector.
Screen 2 projector.
We popped up onto the roof as it was a nice clear night, downside was it was like a skating rink but with no outer barrier!
Its in this section due to I know a few that will be hot footing it up here upon seeing this and a place this size needs plenty of pictures from us plus I will be going back soon