The National Science and Media Museum bid a fond farewell to its visitors over the weekend as it closed its doors temporarily for a significant year-long refurbishment. The final opportunity to explore the museum came to an end with the Bradford Science Festival, where families gathered to celebrate with a range of interactive activities and captivating performances.
The festival, held at the museum, provided a remarkable experience for over 1100 visitors. Enthusiastic participants had the chance to construct their own spaceships, engage in lively dance workshops led by Corey Baker Dance, delve into the museum’s hidden treasures, and witness awe-inspiring performances featuring giant puppets. Additionally, attendees immersed themselves in interactive STEM shows, discovering the history of the internet, learning about the pioneering achievements of African American ophthalmologist Patricia Bath, and exploring hidden worlds using microscopes.
Simultaneously, the museum’s renowned IMAX, which boasts the largest screen in the region, also closed its doors temporarily until the summer of the following year. On its final weekend, the cinema screened the latest instalment in the Spider-Man series, as well as popular IMAX 3D documentaries, offering captivating insights into Earth and space.
The National Science and Media Museum will undergo a transformative £6 million project during the closure, thanks to generous support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and contributions from National Lottery players. The ambitious Sound and Vision project aims to create two new galleries, an additional passenger lift, and an enhanced foyer space, ensuring an unforgettable experience for future visitors.
Although the museum will be closed from 5 June until summer 2024, visitors will still have opportunities to engage with the institution. The museum will host community events and activities in collaboration with local organisations throughout the Bradford district. Learning activities will be delivered by the museum at Bradford Museums & Galleries, as well as Bradford Libraries during the summer months. The popular Bradford Science Festival program will continue throughout August, with community days scheduled at various venues, including WomenZone, SHINE West Bowling, MAPA Cultural Arts Centre, and Laisterdyke Youth and Community Centre.
During the closure period, the museum’s Cubby Broccoli and IMAX screens will remain closed until next summer. However, the Pictureville Cinema and Bar will continue to operate seven days a week, offering an enhanced program of films and events. Film enthusiasts can look forward to a variety of new releases, double bills, and classic cinema screenings. The lineup includes a Bruce Lee season, a rare screening of “This is Cinerama,” the 2023 release “The Eight Mountains,” and a series of Science Fiction double features every Saturday throughout July.
Expressing gratitude to the visitors, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director of the National Science and Media Museum, said, “Thank you to everyone who visited us over our final weekend before our major transformation begins. It was a fantastic weekend with thousands of visitors taking part in Bradford Science Festival activities and visiting our IMAX. While the museum is closed, visitors will still have plenty of opportunities to keep in touch with us as we’ll be delivering a fantastic learning program in schools in and around Bradford, as well as continuing our popular festival program with Widescreen Weekend returning this September.”
The £6 million Sound and Vision project is a capital investment that has received support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund 2022-24, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, and the Science Museum Group, of which the National Science and Media Museum is a part.
For more information about upcoming cinema screenings at Pictureville and to book tickets, please visit: www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/cinema