Arcadian Cinema

Legrams Lane & Ingleby Road,
Bradford, BD7 2EB

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Arcadian Cinema

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Located on the northwest corner of Legrams Lane and Ingleby Road in the Lidget Green district of Bradford. Originally on this site was the Arcadian Pavilion, a wooden structure which opened in May 1908. It was used for concert-party type entertainments. In 1931, it was destroyed by a fire.

The Arcadian Cinema was built for the A.S. Hyde Circuit, based in Shipley. Construction was begun prior to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, and permission was given to continue completion. The cinema opened on 16th March 1940 with Conrad Veidt in “The Spy in Black”(aka U-Boat 29).

The corner entrance was faced with white stone and had windows allowing light into the circle foyer. Seating was provided for 680 in the stalls and 320 in the circle. The auditorium had a barrel vaulted roof, with troughs on the side-walls containing concealed lighting. The proscenium was 38 feet wide, the stage 15 feet deep, and there were two dressing rooms. The circle foyer had tanks containing tropical fish and there was a statue of a green Buddah (an item which graced all the cinemas of the A.S. Hyde Circuit).

The Arcadian Cinema was closed on 8th February 1964 with Todd Armstrong in “Jason and the Argonauts”. There were plans to convert to nightclub use, but these were rejected, and Asian (East Indian) Bollywood films were screened for a while, then it became a bingo club.

In October 1970, it went back to screening Asian films and was known as the Commonwealth Film Club, which operated into the 1980’s.

The building was put up ‘For Sale’ in 1986, and was sold in 1987 and demolished that year for redevelopment. Today a Kwik Fit auto repairs operates from the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on June 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

There are pictures and additional history of this theatre on this webpage.

HJHill
HJHill on July 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

The curved corner façade was not white stone, but faïence. The entrance foyer, with pay box, was very small, being just behind the curved part. Stairs with a metal balustrade led off it, on the right, up to the circle foyer behind those three vertical windows. Beyond the pay box, on the left, a double door led onto a corridor which ran across the width of the building behind the rear stalls. You can make out the exit at the Legrams Lane end of the corridor in the photo. It is the black shape under the canopy, towards the left. There were two sets of double doors into the stalls, at the head of each aisle, respectively. Seating across the auditorium was in three blocks: a central block and two blocks against the walls.

Access between circle lounge and circle was via a side vomitorium at the Legrams Lane side where patrons entering had their tickets torn by an usherette. There was an illuminated aquarium in the circle lounge, fitted into the space of reduced height where the circle above stepped downwards.

There was a rough earth car park behind the back wall of the stage. Down the auditorium flank along Legrams Lane were three or four mature trees, so the brick bulk of the building was not oppressive.

It was a classy cinema. The Grange, at the other end of Horton Grange Road, was a dated period piece.

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