Bradford, BD3 1SX
Date opened as the Hippodrome: Monday 20th February 1911.
First House Manager: George Mozley.
Original owner: Frank MacNaghten/Bradford Hippodrome Company.
First films shown: “Indian Bride”,”The Telephone”,”The Winning of Miss Longdon”.
Date opened as the Roxy: 28th August 1950.
Seating Capacity: 1600.
Building Contractors for conversion to the Roxy: Topham Bros Ltd & J Moulson and Son Ltd.
Final film shown: “The Absent Minded Professor”.
Date Closed: 8th November 1961.
The Hippodrome, Barkerend Road opened on Monday 20th February 1911 and was run by the Bradford Hippodrome Company, which was registered as Bradford Hippodrome Ltd on August 19th 1909. There was new ownership in 1921 when a Mr Joe Holmes took charge. He made a few internal changes. In 1929 the theatre was registered as Bradford Hippodrome (1929) Ltd. It was taken over in 1949 by Arthur R Wood from Ripon, who decided to transform the cinema and re- name it Roxy, no doubt after the famous Roxy in New York. The conversion took almost a year and it opened under its new name on the 28th August 1950. The opening ceremony was performed by the mayor of Bradford Alton Ward.
The old Hippodrome was described as being draughty.The make over, included new seating and a false ceiling added, which hid the forty foot painted roof with its mass of girders.
Work to transform the building was carried out by Topham Bros Ltd of Harrogate. They introduced a new light alloy suspension framework. Some of the woodwork was reclaimed from the original structures, which were dismantled in the alterations.
A new projection room was constructed by Bradford firm J Moulson and Son Ltd. They also constructed a new front entrance. The operating box was equipped with new Western Electric Sound. Fibrous plaster was supplied by L Stead and Son. They also provided ceiling ventilators, which were eighty feet long and ten foot wide. Walturdaw Cinema Supplies provided the ash trays.
Seating capacity in the new cinema was 1600. The building was originally a skating rink and it became a cinema in February 1911. As a cinema there was an orchestra pit, which was removed during alterations.
The opening film was The Best Years of Our Lives. Apart from the general public being in attendance there were 159 members of the cinema trade present and 50 people from the firms who worked on the re-construction. There was loud applause for one patron who would ever be linked with the Hippodrome name, a Mr George Benjamin Mozley, known as ‘Charlie’ because of his impersonation of Charlie Chaplin for charity. Mozley had worked in the building for thirty-two years until 1944. Mozley passed away in the late 1950s.
The cinema became a Star cinema from 24th March 1952 and closed on 8th November 1961 with The Absent Minded Professor and The Horsemasters. It went on to become another bingo hall run by Star and later by EMI Bingo continued until 1980. In 1982 It became a mosque.
David A Ellischestercinemas.co.uk