Griff Rhys Jones lends support to save Bradford Odeon campaign
Wednesday 14 November 2012
Comedian Griff Rhys Jones has spoken out in support of a civic group in Bradford campaigning to save the city's historic Odeon building from demolition.
Opened in 1930 as the New Victoria, the cinema building is known for its lavish ballroom and tearooms. The venue screened films during Hollywood's Golden Age under the tenancy of Gaumont, and in the 60s played host to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
This week the comedian and presenter attended a meeting in Bradford, a UNESCO City of Film since 2009, to launch Bradford One, a new campaign to save the cinema.
"The Odeon is quite a bit of a white elephant, but it's quite a beautiful building," Rhys Jones said.
"There' been a lot of change in Leeds Bradford, and a lot of the area feels life a children's toy box being knocked down, and the question is 'Where's the coherence?'"
As President of Civic Voice, and recognised for his fundraising for Hackney's Picturehouse, the comedian was keen to illustrate the pressures local communities are facing.
"What seems to be happening is that a lot of promises have been made to a lot of sponsors and because of that we're walking into a lot of problems," he said.
Closed since 2000 the building was taken over by QUANGO Yorkshire Forward in 2003, which made the decision to demolish the building.
Michael Ellis, Chairman of the Council committee approving the building's demolition, said he and his fellow councillors had been "backed into a corner" by English Heritage.
Rhys Jones said: "I'm trying to get more people to see that neighbourhood community action change things. That these groups are not boring, they are cool."
Jim Mitcham of Bradford One said: "It's about the people of Bradford taking control of the regeneration of Bradford. The wishes of the people are often ignored and considered in these decisions."
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£13500 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning, Bolton base...
£23000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Account Executive is r...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Full Time position available now at a growing...