Bradford Imax Cinema
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The Bradford Imax Cinema, housed within the Bradford Museum of Photography, Film and Television was the first Imax cinema in the UK.
The building stands on a historic site which was previously occupied by two ‘piggy-back’ theatres one above the other and unique in the UK. The lower theatre, the Star Music Hall (later Palace Theatre) was a two tier theatre seating 1,191 and was opened in 1875. This theatre housed possibly the first demonstation of Lumiere Cinematograph outside London in 1896. Above it was the Princes Theatre, opened 1876. Both were demolished in 1964.
The Wardley Centre was constructed on the site, being completed in 1967 and containing the New Princes Theatre, however no-one was interested in running the new theatre and it was never fitted out, remaining an empty shell until 1983 when the Museum was opened. They adapted the shell of the theatre and used the balcony as seating for the Imax with the screen situated in front of the stage, which (together with the rear stalls area) was subsequently partition off to form part of the museum galleries.
The screen measures 45 feet by 62 feet and the former balcony accommodates an audience of 340 patrons.
The Imax continues successfully, although several other such installations have now opened elsewhere in the UK.
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