Grand Picture House|
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Entering the Grand from Manchester Road led to a long narrow foyer/lobby running at the back of the hall with steps to the left down to the picture hall which ran parallel to the shops and the main road.
The picture hall was approximately 50 feet long at stalls level and 35 feet wide as scaled from a building plan. Main access was from doors at the rear of the hall from the lobby and with one exit door half way down its length on the right-hand side leading out into Marshall's Mill yard.
The small projection room of only about 9 feet square was built externally to the hall at the southern end and at the back of the balcony. Its only access was an external staircase outside the building in the mill yard.
"An addition to the picture houses of Bradford was made yesterday (24th May) when the Grand Picture House was opened giving two houses a night and matinées on Wednesday and Saturday."
The opening attractions for Whitsuntide Week were . . .
"The Victoria Cross" - 1912 USA B/W Silent Drama
Plus film of a London outcast and how faithfully he did his duty on the Indian Frontier.
The Bradford Daily Argus reported . . .
"The picture house is a lofty and admirably appointed hall which has comfortable accommodation for over 500 people".
Whilst the Bradford Daily Telegraph claimed . . .
"This new hall which was recently opened by Mr Lewis Boocock . . . . was well attended at matinées and evening performances yesterday when a programme of exceptional merit was presented".
By September 1912 the popularity of the Grand had been firmly established as the Bradford Daily Argus reported . . .
"Good pictures, comfortable seats and courteous attention are the attractions at the Grand Picture House . . . . (showing) moving dramas and stories which win hearty applause".
Up for Auction
The architect/surveyor for the sale of the premises was William Illingworth of Sunbridge Road who was no stranger to cinemas as he had earlier designed the Prince's Hall and Saltaire Picture House both in Shipley and was later (in 1930) to design the sumptuous New Victoria Theatre half a mile away in the city centre.
Eddie Anderton purchased the cinema and installed R. Hiles as resident manager. At this time prices were reduced to 3d to 5d to regain more business in these lean times. Seating accommodation was now around 436.
Music and Talkies
In 1930 the British Talking Pictures (BTP) sound system was installed by Eddie Anderton - the same system he had fitted at his Elite and Coliseum cinemas. As 'talkie' films were more expensive to hire, the orchestra was retained for a while to support some of the silent films still in circulation and advertised . . .
"The Grand will show the Best Talking Pictures and the Pick of the Silent Pictures".
Closure then Boxing
"The Grand will close indefinitely".
On Monday 19th November 1934 the premises were reopened by John MacDermott as 'Macs Boxing Stadium'.
At this time the row of shops in Manchester Road were occupied by . . .
The Boxing Stadium closed in 1939 with the impending war. The shops (Nos. 117 to 121) to the left of the former picture house entrance had later become Dixieland Ltd famed for their mix of fancy goods, wallpaper, radios and cycles whilst the former Griffin public house and adjoining shop had become Classic Joinery & Building Contractors.
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