Saturday 31st October nearly 200 people gathered in Bradford city centre to oppose the demolition of the abandoned Odeon Cinema. The rally saw speeches from local campaigners outside the city’s town hall, then outside the Odeon itself with a human chain around the building and finally culminated at the Westfield development site.
Throughout the event the public were encouraged to make their views clear by writing on the Odeon’s boarded up and blacked out doorways and windows, while at the Westfield a local arts group had put up a pre-printed board called ‘The Democracy Wall, have your say…’ with pens for people to make their mark.
Bradford Council’s descision to approve the demolition of the historic Odeon building in the city centre has incensed and bewildered local residents who see the iconic architecture as an integral part of their local history.
Speakers from Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (BORG) as well as other local groups talked to the crowd outside the town hall at 12noon while a short zine about the history of the Odeon was distributed. Some had come in fancy dress (it is halloween after all!) and it was a good opportunity for concerned Bradfordians to meet each other.
With banners and placards reading ‘Save the Odeon, No More Holes’ the protestors moved over to the Odeon building to write on the building with chalk. Messages plea-ing and demanding that the council save the building and tales of good times at the venue from times past were written by everyone. Councillor David Ward spoke of how he had once belived that the building was “worthless and had no future” because of what he and other at the council had been told by other emplyees there and by Bradford Centre Regeneration (BCR) and Maud Marshall. It was only, he said, due to the hard work of BORG that he had realised that he and other representatives had been lied to and that saving the building was not only in the interest of the public, but also possible.
After more speeches from a variety of local people the crowds moved over to the Westfield building site which has been abandoned for several years. A large sheet of wood had been attached to the boarding around the site and asked for people to ‘have their say…’ with some great suggestions for how the site could be returned to the people including the popualr view of turning it into a park.
Later a council worker attempted to spray over the sign but the equipment he was using failed to deliver and sign remained.
The chalk writing on the Odeon was removed by 5pm but was replaced by more chalk writing and spray paint reading ‘THIS IS OURS’ and ‘i love this building’
The days actions come after a banner drop off the top of the Odeon building on Thursday and projections onto the building on friday. (see pictures above)
More photos of recent Odeon events, including the light projections onto building, can be found on this website;
Bradford Council Pull Your Finger Out Local group campaigning against the degredation of so called ‘regeneration’ in the city.
Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (BORG) Local group campaigning against the demolition and abandonment of the Odeon building
Some photos in this articles from http://www.skyscrapercity,com