Ambitious plans are underway to have the biggest pub in the UK here in Huddersfield town centre .
The Examiner can today reveal that developers have targeted the old Classic cinema opposite the University of Huddersfield to transform it into a huge pub and nightclub complete with a rooftop terrace.
It will be called the Colosseum to reflect its size ... and the nightclub will feature one of the biggest bass speakers in the world built into the high ceiling above the dance floor.
The aim is for work to start within the next few months and then be carried out in phases before being finally finished around 18 months later.
The complex will be large enough for 2,500 revellers and create jobs for dozens of people.
The scheme has been devised by Huddersfield-based Hellfire Entertainment which was set up two years ago and co-founded by Ian Snowball and his 30-year-old son, Alex.
Ian’s other son, 31-year-old Adam is the managing director and the Head of Entertainment for the new venue will be 29-year-old Dr Victoria Snaith.
They all hail from London but Ian and Adam have now moved to Huddersfield.
It is the team’s first major venture but Ian says the building is just what they were looking for – the walls are 3ft thick which make it ideal for both the acoustics and soundproofing.
It is also on the doorstep of 30,000 University of Huddersfield students.
Ian said: “I understand that a lot of people from Huddersfield go to Leeds and Manchester for big nights out. Our aim is to make the Colosseum a destination spot to bring people here.”
He revealed it will follow a Roman theme with an eye-catching mosaic just inside the entrance and will be opened in stages.
The aim is that a high technology juice bar, a coffee bar and in ice-cream bar will open this autumn followed next year by an upstairs bar and then the downstairs bar and nightclub.
The club will be high enough to feature acrobats.
The final work will be the roof terrace.
“This will be a marathon rather than a sprint,” said Ian.
The company has been in discussions with Kirklees planners and now architects are drawing up detailed plans for a full planning application.
Ian did not want to reveal how much money will be invested but described it as “significant.”
The site is now 11,000 sq ft but another 6,000sq ft floor will be added along with the rooftop terrace which will be 6,500sq ft.
JD Wetherspoon reckons it will be opening the biggest pub in the UK next month, the 10,500sq ft pub in Ramsgate, Kent, transforming the Grade II listed Royal Victoria Pavilion which has been derelict since 2008. That is a £4m investment creating 150 jobs.
The former cinema on Queensgate is now derelict.
In its 171-year history it has been transformed from the Canon Cinema, to the Rat and Parrot Public House to Livingstone’s and then the Sin nightclub and Che Bar which closed in 2011.
The imposing building, which originally stood at the bottom of Ramsden Street, was opened in 1846 as a riding school. It also served as a temporary base for circuses visiting Huddersfield.
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It then became the Theatre Royal and hosted music hall stars from across the country before being taken over as a drill hall and armoury by the local Territorial Army units.
In the 1870s the building even had a brief spell as a rollerskating rink.
The Milton United Congregational Sunday School and the Salvation Army held services there for a brief period, but it was as a cinema that it became best known.
Over the years, the building was known as The Tudor (twice), The Hippodrome, The Essoldo, The Classic and the Cannon.
A claim to fame was that it was the last survivor of the many town centre cinemas when it finally shut its doors as The Tudor on March 5, 1998, with the owners owing tens of thousands of pounds to creditors.