AN EXHIBITION is being launched to celebrate the past and future of two of Oldham’s iconic architectural gems.
Opening on Saturday, July 23, 2016, the ‘Revival’ exhibition at Gallery Oldham will focus on the stories of Oldham Town Hall and Oldham’s Library and Art Gallery.
After being closed for a number of years, these two nineteenth century buildings are being revived for twenty-first century use.
The Old Town Hall will reopen as an 800-seat, seven-screen Odeon cinema later this year, with the transformation designed by Alan Davies, architect director at the Manchester studio of BDP.
Through a selection of images and artefacts, the ‘Revival’ exhibition gives a fascinating glimpse of the Old Town Hall through the ages, starting from its erection in 1841.
The exhibition will take visitors straight through to the transformation of the building into a cinema complex with six restaurants, including Nando’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
The Gothic-style Library and Art Gallery building on Union Street first opened in 1883 and has become home to a growing collection of art, natural history and social history.
The opening of Gallery Oldham in 2002 and Oldham Library in 2006 created the opportunity to redevelop and reimagine this much-loved old building.
And as plans for the new Heritage and Arts Centre in the old Library and Art Gallery building gather pace, there will be a chance to see some of the historic collections and contribute to the new displays in the ‘Revival’ exhibition.
Oldham Council Leader Jean Stretton said: “We are breathing new life into our town’s most iconic buildings and delivering the facilities our residents deserve at the same time.
“The Old Town Hall and Library and Art Gallery are an important part of Oldham’s past and they will now be integral to our future.
“Many of the cinema screens at the Old Town Hall will be in some of the original rooms, such as the council chamber and the courtroom. This bold contrast between the old and the new is a deliberate feature of the redevelopment work.
“The ‘Revival’ exhibition sums up the two regeneration projects; it’s a nostalgic glimpse of our proud past and a celebration of an exciting future.”
Alan Davies, architect director at BDP, said: “Oldham’s Old Town Hall represents an important part of the town’s heritage, and it has been a privilege to work with the Council on bringing this historical landmark back into use.
“Ahead of its opening this exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for people to find out more about the building’s past, while also taking a glimpse of its future.”
The ‘Revival’ exhibition will run from July 23 to November 5 at Gallery Oldham, Greaves Street.