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Alhambra Theatre at night

Alhambra Theatre

Welcome to the Alhambra Theatre. Our historic venue has been delighting audiences for over 100 years with an eclectic mix of musicals, drama, dance and Yorkshire’s biggest pantomime!

Bradford’s cultural centre since 1914

Regarded as the North's premier receiving venue, the iconic Alhambra Theatre attracts the very best in star names and live entertainment to the city of Bradford.

This stunning venue seats 1,400 people and over the years has staged major West End shows including The Lion King, War Horse, Billy Elliot, Wicked and Mary Poppins. A popular choice for major touring companies, the Alhambra Theatre is also a member of the Dance Consortium, a group of venues who work together to bring the best in international dance to the UK.

Our Story

Francis Laidler

Grand Opening

The Alhambra Theatre, the jewel in Bradford’s crown, was the vision of Francis Laidler, a local impresario. Laidler had the idea and vision to build a brand-new theatre in 1912 and it was two years later that his dream was realised. The Alhambra Theatre was officially opened at 2pm on 18 March 1914. Five days later, it opened its doors to the public on 23 March for a variety show, which ran for a week.

Alhambra Theatre Ceiling


The theatre was built from designs and supervision by Messrs Chadwick & Watson of Leeds; the general contractor was Mr J T Wright of Leeds; and plaster and decorator’s work was by Messrs F DeJong & Co Ltd, London. It was said that Italian craftsmen were brought in to install tessellated marble work in the foyer for the opening. 

Alhambra Theatre 1914

Golden Age of Variety

Through the golden age of variety, the 1980’s refurbishment and up to the present day, the Alhambra Theatre has had a wonderful and varied history. The venue’s name is synonymous with pantomime; Francis Laidler was known as the King of Panto, introducing the tradition of the Sunbeams (juvenile troupe) to all the pantos he produced in Bradford.

Michael Ball performing at Alhambra Theatre

100th Anniversary

In 2014 the Alhambra Theatre celebrated its 100th anniversary. In this year the theatre welcomed, for this first time, tours of Disney's The Lion King; closely followed by the National Theatre's War Horse. This milestone was celebrated with a night of variety on Saturday 20 September; the line-up included local panto legend Billy Pearce and headliner Michael Ball. This event was a nod to the theatre’s rich history of variety. It remains an iconic venue, attracting the very best in star names and live entertainment to the city of Bradford.

Google map screenshot of the Alhambra Theatre

Alhambra Theatre

Morley Street



01274 432000

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