Scala Picture House

East Parade,
Bradford,

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The Scala Picture House in East Parade was a purpose built two tier cinema which opened in August 1913, closed in 1922 (well before sound was introduced), became a theatre for a year and eventually became the church hall for St Mary’s Church next door. As a cinema it had 700 seats with tip-up chairs in all parts.

It is reputed to be intact inside and the only incident worthy of note was the unfortunate death of a boy in 1916 when a gale force wind dislodged a stone cross from the gable of St Mary’s which then plunged through the roof of the cinema and crushed the poor lad who was awaiting the start of the film.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ian
Ian on November 18, 2004 at 7:49 am

Following a tour of this building yesterday, it appears to be even more interesting than previously thought. It was built for the church as a way of raising money (the nearby St Peters had a similar scheme with the Tivoli). The stalls floor has been levelled and a false ceiling put in at balcony level. This part of the building is now a plain meeting room. However above this everything is intact, from the plasterwork on the walls to the projection room (empty) and a delightful single box at the rear of the balcony. Narrow corridors, tiny little payboxes positioned in the centre of a door and an open trussed ceiling all remain – largely unseen for decades.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 20, 2005 at 2:33 am

A recent auditorium view, showing a part of the building hidden away above a false ceiling here:
View link

mikealred
mikealred on May 20, 2006 at 12:42 am

May 2006. The Leeds Catolic Dicosis which owns the premises is proposing to close the St Mary’s RC church (also listed) which at present uses La Scala as it’s church hall. They will them sell the premises which can only put the building at serious risk of dmeolition.

Copies of he full original plans of the building are avalable on microfich at the Bradford branch of the West Yorkshire Archives Service.

historydb
historydb on December 4, 2007 at 12:28 am

Not only used as a means of raising money for the church, the intention was so that the parish priest could control the type of films his parishioners were seeing.

Alan

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on June 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

There is much additional information about this theatre, its current status, and pictures on this webpage.

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