Date of closure: 1997
Address (for reference only):
Top Rank Bingo
The impressive building originally opened in 1930 as the 3300+ seater New Victoria Cinema, and during its pre-bingo years functioned as both a cinema and concert venue. At the time bingo was introduced, the building was split, the bingo hall sharing with two separate screens. The Bingo kept the grand entrance way of the building, under one of the impressive domes that made the building so distinctive. The Odeon cinema was accessed via a separate entrance further down the buildings side.
Up until 1968, the cinema was one of the 10 biggest in the UK, and also played host to a number of big concerts including the likes of The Beatles and The Stones. Then came the division of the club to two screens and the Bingo club under the Odeon and Top Rank Bingo brands (both part of the Rank Group.) It was a successful club for a time, but things started to go downhill as the club aged. It was flooded in 1982 following heavy storms which caused the Bradford Beck to overflow. The bingo section of the club closed down and was boarded up in 1997.
The cinema followed the closure of the bingo club in 2000. Ever since the building has been left to deteriorate and is slated for demolition. A local group called the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (BORG) has been trying to fight the demolition of the hall, claiming the state of the building was nowhere near as bad as the council were making out, and it would make a premier live venue for the city. They posted a video featuring recent shots of the interior to prove their point. With demolition and redevelopment set though, it’s unlikely the building will survive in its current state. You can watch the video below.