Leeds cinema squabble is a tale of two cities

  • Cinema firm wants super-sized IMAX screen at White Rose Shopping Centre
  • Bradford Council fears screen would dent popularity of IMAX at National Media Museum
  • Museum chiefs have also voiced concerns about impact on Bradford city centre
Have your say

A blockbuster of a row is brewing over plans for a super-sized IMAX cinema screen at the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds.

Bradford Council has objected to the proposals, saying it fears the development would have a harmful effect on attendances at the long-standing IMAX screen in the city’s National Media Museum (NMM).

The Science Museum Group, which runs the NMM, has also come out in opposition to the scheme.

Council bosses in Leeds gave the green light last year to plans for a multi-screen cinema as part of a wider expansion of the White Rose.

Cinema chain Cineworld has since been confirmed as its operator but it has now emerged that the company wants the attraction to incorporate an IMAX screen.

The size of the screen means the scheme will have to go back before council planners in Leeds this Thursday and a report prepared for the meeting outlines the complaints being made in Bradford.

Bradford Council, the report says, has concerns about the impact the new competitor would have on the “future economic viability” of its IMAX and the city centre.

The report also says that the Science Museum Group is concerned that the White Rose scheme would damage the “vitality and viability of Bradford city centre as a cultural destination”.

Plans were announced last month for a £780,000 upgrade of the IMAX system at the NMM that will allow it to show a greater number of new film releases.

Budget pressures temporarily threw the future of the NMM into doubt in 2013.