Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford — Impressions Gallery

Bringing the Beat
Back to Bradford

A new community archive and exhibition made by the people of Bradford.

We are delighted to announce our major new project Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford.

Originally built in 1930, and located in the heart of the city, the magnificent building previously known as the Bradford Odeon is being restored to its former glory as an entertainment hub for the city. Ahead of the building’s reopening as Bradford Live, Impressions is working with local people to produce Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford, a brand new crowd-sourced exhibition marking this momentous occasion for the city. The exhibition opening later in 2022 will shine a light on the vibrant history of this much loved building and the many people who have used it. 

Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford is part of a programme of heritage activity commissioned by Bradford Live and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to highlight the history of one of Bradford’s most loved buildings and the memories that were made there. It will feature stories from the community, artefacts and memorabilia, oral histories and a mix of official and vernacular photographs.

How to get involved.

We are inviting you to share with us your photographs, stories, concert tickets, cinema stubs, programmes or posters – anything that is a memento of the building’s past. Please send us images (photographs or scans) of your items which will be collated into the growing community archive. We may get in touch to invite you to loan the original item for the exhibition later in 2022.

You can contribute digitally by email, or get in touch to arrange a visit to the gallery via

If you lead a group, club, or society, or are part of a network who might be interested in hosting the Impressions team for a talk about the project please get in touch with us at or call 01274 737843.

Image credit: Odeon 1990 © Ken Webster. All images on this page courtesy of Mark Nicholson.


Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford — Impressions Gallery
Top Rank Club July 2000 © Mike Bottomley

"The building has been making memories since the 1930s and we are so pleased that Impressions Gallery has been entrusted with curating the Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford exhibition in partnership with Bradfordians young and old."

Anne McNeill, Director, Impressions Gallery

"Bradford Live is thrilled to be working with Impressions Gallery on this exhibition thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We’re very fortunate to have such a renowned gallery as our neighbour and we know that Impressions’ expertise and enthusiasm will deliver a worthy celebration of one of Bradford’s most loved buildings at this exciting time in its history."

Chris Morrell, Bradford Live
Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford — Impressions Gallery
Opening Programme Sept 1930 © Mike Bottomley collection
Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford — Impressions Gallery
New Victoria Stalls Foyer 1930 © Joe Marsh

"We are delighted to support Bradford Live and Impressions Gallery in recording the heritage of the Bradford Odeon. This grant, made possible by the National Lottery players, ensures that the voices and memories of the community can be heard for generations to come."

David Renwick, The National Lottery Heritage Fund


Over twelve months from November 2021 we will be sharing highlights via our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). Launched on 5 November 2021, #FlashbackFriday features unique artefacts from Bradford Live’s archive, as well as submissions from our public call out.

You can follow this campaign and get involved by following us on social media and using the hashtag #BringingTheBeatBackToBradford

A square pink ticket, a rectangular blue ticket and 2 torn grey tickets all with black text sit on top of two black and white printed leaflets
Bringing the Beat Back to Bradford funder partner logos