Skip to main content

The National Science and Media Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday. Please book free museum admission or cinema tickets online in advance

Visit the National Science and Media Museum and Pictureville Cinema this summer

After more than six months of temporary closure, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford will reopen its doors to the public again from Wednesday 19 May 2021.

Tickets to visit the museum are now available to book online. Museum opening hours will remain Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00–16.00.

To ensure the safety of visitors and staff, the site will undergo a rigorous cleaning regime prior to reopening and additional site-wide cleaning will continue to take place throughout each day. There will also be signage in place to help guide visitors and staff safely around the building. Visitors will be encouraged to observe social distancing measure, and face masks are mandatory, in line with current guidelines (unless the visitor has an exemption). To make everyone’s visit safe and comfortable, visitors will be required to book a free timed entry slot in advance of their visit.

The majority of the museum’s galleries will reopen, including the Kodak Gallery, which houses the museum’s world-class photo exhibits. The family favourite Wonderlab and Games Lounge will also be open, with enhanced cleaning regimes in place to ensure safety and hygiene.

The museum shop and café will also be open from Wednesday 19 May 2021, and Pictureville Cinema will be reopening from Friday 21 May 2021, with a programme including the new 3D IMAX documentary Antarctica.

Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director of the National Science and Media Museum, said:

“We are over the moon to finally be reopening our doors to the public after six months of closure. We have a fantastic lineup of exhibitions and events planned for the rest of this year, including the opening of our new Belle Vue Studio exhibition, our Sound Season exhibitions in the summer, and the return of the ever-popular Widescreen Weekend and Bradford Science Festival in the autumn. It is also wonderful to be bringing back the magic of the big screen with the reopening of Pictureville Cinema. Above all else, we want to reassure visitors that we are putting all the necessary measures in place for a safe and stress-free visit to our museum and cinemas. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support this past year and look forward to welcoming visitors and colleagues through our doors once again.”

Upcoming programme

In Pursuit of Perfection: The Yorkshire Photographic Union Competition

19 May – 27 June 2021

In this celebration of photography clubs across Yorkshire, visitors can explore entries to the Yorkshire Photographic Union competition, including prints from 2020’s competition as well as the digital images selected from this year’s contest. You can also take a closer look at 2020’s selection on the exhibition webpage.

Belle Vue Studio exhibition

Permanent exhibition, opens 19 May 2021

The newly revamped permanent exhibition in the museum’s Kodak Gallery will shine a light on Bradford’s influential Belle Vue Studio, where thousands of the city’s residents had their photograph taken between the 1920s and 1970s. The new exhibition is in partnership with Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Service and has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The exhibition will showcase a recreation of the Belle Vue Studio, telling the fascinating story of Bradford’s very own photographic history and the important role of the studio in documenting the lives of the city’s inhabitants during a century of great societal change.

Let’s Chat: River of Tea

19 May – 27 June 2021

Let’s Chat is a new project to get the public’s input and opinion on plans for the future of the museum’s exhibitions, events and displays. The project will open with River of Tea: From Bengal to Britain, an exhibition of photographs by Tim Smith. The photographs explore how the early tea trade sparked the migration of people from Bengal to Britain. More than 500,000 British-Bangladeshis now live in Britain, with over 90% of Sylheti origin—a district in northern Bangladesh that was once part of Assam, the first tea-growing region in British India. The photographs will be displayed alongside further content which tell this story, created in partnership with communities in Bradford.

Sound Season

23 July – 5 December 2021

This summer the museum will launch Sound Season, including two major temporary exhibitions, Sonic: Adventures in Audio and Boom: Experiments in Sound. The series of exhibitions and events will explore how sound fills our world, helping people to understand how it works, and encouraging them to play and experiment with sound. Visitors will learn how sound waves are created and how they interact with different materials and spaces, the biology of hearing, and how an understanding of the physical properties of sound can be used by musicians, engineers and scientists to create and manipulate sound. Interactive elements will allow visitors of all ages to explore and experiment to deepen their understanding of sound and how it shapes our lives.

Widescreen Weekend: 25th Anniversary Edition

7–10 October 2021

Widescreen Weekend will be returning in 2021, celebrating its 25th anniversary with exclusive screenings and events. Tickets and more details about this year’s festival will be announced soon. In June, the museum is also launching Widescreen Weekend Rediscoveries; these monthly one-off screenings will help visitors to rediscover the magic of the big screen. Building on the success of Widescreen Weekend, Widescreen Weekend Rediscoveries will continue the festival celebration year-round, showcasing a mix of screen heritage, classic films, and cult favourites, all on a range of formats including print, digital and Cinerama.

Bradford Science Festival

23–31 October 2021

Bradford Science Festival will be returning this October for a celebration of surprising science and fascinating fun at the museum, across the city and online. Collaborating with venues, schools and communities, as well as festival partners from across the Bradford district, this year’s festival will include special zones, such as Brad Lab and STEM City, as well as an exploration of the themes of sustainability and sound. More details about this year’s festival will be announced soon.


Notes for editors

For further information, images or interview requests, please contact Katie Canning, Press and PR Manager, National Science and Media Museum: / 01274 203 027

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.

Part of the Science Museum Group