GALLERY: New images show how inside of former Odeon will be transformed into Bradford Live

NEW artist’s impressions show how the interior of Bradford’s long empty Odeon building could look after it re-opens as a live music venue.

The Bradford Live project is one of the biggest regeneration schemes in the city’s recent history, and will see the cinema, empty since 2000, brought back to live as a music venue with a capacity of around 4,000, run by the NEC Group.

Work on preparing the interior of the building has been underway for months, and the process of finding a contractor to carry out the bulk of the transformation work began this week. The estimated opening date for Bradford live is 2022.

A planning application for the building – to install a sub station in the service yard, has been submitted to Bradford Council. Included in the application are numerous images and details of the planned bars and indoor areas of the huge building.

The plans are in their early stages, and may change between now and the venue opening – but offer a fascinating insight into how the venue will incorporate the history of the building, which turns 90 this month.

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Parts of the cinema have been damaged following years of neglect – including significant water damage. But where possible original features have been incorporated into the plans.

The building’s iconic turrets will both be brought back to life creating new bar areas. Both the Tea Room Turret and the Ballroom Turret will see the water damaged roof replaced and features such as the large windows restored. Each space will have its own bar.

Other bar areas include a large bar on the ground floor crescent and an art deco style “cabaret bar.”

A space in the building’s basement will become the Boiler Room Bar, which the plans describe as “raw and industrial” with few of the grander decorative features of the upper bars.

The application adds: “The reimagination of the building is to make the most of the bold and signature exterior and to rework the fragments of its historic interior to create a forward looking, attractive and engaging cultural venue. The building should become a focal point for the city centre with a living presence and regular daytime use as well as evening activity.

“The remaining decorative fragments of the original interiors should be stabilised and retained wherever possible – with hints of the venue’s former glory as part of a lively reworking. By preserving the original as-found spaces, overlaying these with a new contemporary decoinspired style will create characterful interior that reflects both the history of the venue, but one that also responds to the sensibilities of contemporary audiences.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus | News