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National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (Bradford)

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National Museum of Photography, Film & Television
Bradford, West Yorkshire BD1 1NQ. Tel +44 (0)1274 20 20 30.
10:00am - 6:00pm Tues-Sun and Bank/main Holidays. FREE ADMISSION

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      25.10.2012 13:15
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      One of the best museums for all ages in the North of England.

      This museum is a fantastic example of the twenty-first century in action. Across six floors you'll find an array of exhibitions and galleries which help show the ways in which media and technology have developed since film, television, radio and other digital forms were first conceived. The best thing about the museum is the interactivity: this is anything but a boring "read and walk" museum with nothing but pictures and information to inform you; rather the museum is packed with things to touch, do, play with and - of course - learn.

      Parking near the museum isn't always the easiest thing and like most cities, driving into Bradford isn't the nicest experience, particularly during the remainder of the rush hour traffic. However once we'd arrived at the museum the lovely open, bright space of the foyer was extremely welcoming with a spacious café to offer a little refreshment before setting off to explore. The café was a little expensive and unfortunately there wasn't much to eat for someone with a gluten intolerance. However for those with no such restrictions there were some nice cakes and sandwiches to offer a bit of sustenance with a cup of coffee.

      After this brief respite we began to wander the ground floor which, at the time, had a very enlightening display about the internet. Under the floor, beneath perspex, were computer monitors and other pieces of hardware to illustrate the way the internet has developed and transformed over the last twenty years. This went hand-in-hand with the 6th floor gallery which asked some thought-provoking questions about the internet and its future, particularly the ways in which democracy and freedom are being affected as the internet evolves further. There was a very interesting video-recording station entitled "Read Aloud" which asked people to read a line from their favourite book. It wasn't quite clear though that this would later be projected on a huge projector just around the corner so I would caution anyone who doesn't like to be on camera to beware any such activities! A rather amusing clip on the screen showed a woman reading while her son - unbeknown to her - mooned the camera in the background and would no doubt have caused her some embarrassment!

      Elsewhere the permanent exhibitions explore television with a lovely collection of old TV sets to show how the medium's progressed over time. However the best part of this exhibition is "Experience TV": a newsdesk, where you can sit, read the autocue and pretend you're Huw Edwards; a green-screen where you can stand and see yourself on TV jumping out of a plane; and finally a sitcom set where you can sit on the sofa and see yourself in various positions on camera with your friends playing Director and Camera Man if you so wish. It's a great experience for adults and kids alike, although if you visit during a busy period you'll have a tough time getting a chance to use any of these.

      Another great part of the museum is "TV Heaven" where you can watch a TV episode or two from a massive catalogue of archived shows going back sixty years. The booths take up to 5 people but groups can book in advance and sit in the 39-seat auditorium to watch an episode together. It's a nice way to sit down and put your feet up after walking around for an hour or two.

      As well as these experiences there are several other areas with more detailed galleries showing artefacts from famous TV shows and with information about how such shows are made. If you've got enough time or are in Bradford for a day or two, the museum houses both regular cinema screens and an IMAX where you can view the most recent film releases. On the sixth floor you see into the IMAX projection room and see the equipment in action - something that might be very useful for students who are looking at media or film for A Level courses.

      Overall the Media Museum is a super experience and really illustrates how far the world of digital media has come in the last 100 years. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and will doubtless be returning again to see the next round of temporary exhibitions which, if they're anything like the ones we saw, will be thought-provoking, interactive and informative. The museum has great facilities for individuals and groups and I would recommend it to anyone in the Bradford area.

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      22.02.2010 18:16
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      A great day out for both young and old!

      The National media museum housed in the centre of Bradford is a great free day out! Comprised of eight galleries there really is something which will interest both big and small people. Exhibitions do change for example currently the phenomena that is soap opera is being explored.
      A favourite in my house was the exhibit which aims to explain how television has changed over time and has interactive displays where children an develop a basic understanding of some of the tricks of television e.g you can become a teletubby or read the weather infront of a blue screen or read the news at the newsdesk.

      The animation gallery is fascinating and you can come face to face with sets from Wallace and Gromit, Morph and Andy pandy. Children can follow I spy style sheets around the area spotting key exhibits.

      The centre has a large cafe serving tasty hot and cold food at competitve prices catering for children and adults alike. I enjoyed a tasty meal of sausage and onion in a large yorkshire pudding, other people in my party had a curry and the children enjoyed chicken nuggets and chips.

      There is a gift shop, however I felt that many souvenirs were over priced, however there was a handful of pencil and book mark type of gifts for the smaller pocket.

      At an additional cost visitors can enjoy a range of films shown in one of three cinema's housed within the centre including a 3D Imax experience.


      It is easy to find as it is clearly signposted. It took approximately 10 minutes for us to walk from the station. In my opinion this is well worth a visit and is a great wet weather option.

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        19.02.2010 16:43
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        a fab place to visit with the kids or as a BIG kid!

        This museum is great for adults and kids and is a place i've visited many times growing up! the museum always has something new and exciting to see and lots of interactive areas!

        What is there to see and do?
        with 8 floors, there is definitley something to every ones taste! there are 3 cinemas, a cafe, special exhibition galleries, an interactive radio station, bar and a shop.
        Overl the eight floors, there is everything and anything to do with tv, photography, media etc. such as painting, colour and lights, photography, cameras through time etc. Each level is clearly marked, so its really easy to navigate around the museum.
        it is fantastic with the kids and most things are at child height which is even better! most days there are workshops going on for the kids, such as making things or taking part in radio sessions.
        the IMAX cinema, is well worth a visit, but worth booking in advance as it is VERY popular. lots of new movies are available to watch on a 15meter high screen alot of the time in 3d too!

        There is some much to see and do i wont list them all, but its worth checking out the website before going, so you can plan to visit your favourite sections of the museum!

        location:
        Finding the museum is very easy and it is well sign posted. Very simple to find with a satnav if your visiting from afar.There are lots of palces to eat around the museum as well as the town of bradford, which is full of shops, restaurants etc.

        a fantastic museum, full of interactive and education displays for adults and kids and best of all its FREE so you'll happily spend hours exploring all the wonderful things on show

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          17.04.2009 00:32
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          Perfect for a family outing

          The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television has now changed its' name to the much snappier "National Media Museum" .

          We have just visited this place (April 2009) and amazingly, it is still free to enter. It's open 10 am till 6.00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

          I first visited this place around 15 years ago, and having just been back, I have got to say, it has changed and improved a lot.

          Spread over 6 floors, it's in a shiny building right in the centre of Bradford: it is signposted by the brown 'leisure' signs from the main motorways and A-roads, although of course, the brown signs all disappear when you get within a couple of miles of your destination! We did actually do a circular tour of the Bradford suburbs a couple of times, which was interesting, but eventually found our way in.

          The musuem does have its' own car park behind the building, but this is quite small, however there are several car parks within walking distance and we used the NCP which was about 5 minutes walk. These are all pay and display.

          Entry is free, and you can just wander around at your own pace, or you can book a guided tour. The museum has its' own IMAX cinema, which you pay seperately for, and this needs to be booked in advance. At the time of our visit, it was around £3.00, and we were told this could be paid for with Tesco Deals tokens if you wish.

          The IMAX was showing the new release Monsters and Aliens, as well as several 'experience' films such as walking on the moon, under the sea.

          Unfortunately, we arrived too late for the IMAX show, so we didn't get to go in there. However, there was plenty of other entertainment, so we didn't feel we had missed out too much.

          We started off at the camera exhibition, which was a traditional museum set-up showing cameras from the beginning of the invention, right through the ages up to the present day digitals.

          There was a similar exhibition of television sets and video players, and some of them had us feeling really old - seeing equipment in a museum that you remember having in your own home is a bit of an eye-opener! :)

          These exhibitions are enhanced with added extras like TV sets showing old adverts on a loop, each with a bench to sit down and watch.

          Another floor contained hands-on visual tricks and magic, which the children loved: The theme was light and mirrors, with buttons to press and how-to guides. There was a periscope to try, CCTV cameras to operate, how colours change our view of objects and a 'shadow catcher' machine. This area was very busy and full of very excited laughing children.

          The highlight for us was the 'how television pictures get to your set' demonstration : Very educational and fun for kids and adults alike, you actually 'see' how the signals are sent from satellites or aerials down to the TV set.

          Another favourite was the 'be a camera operator' where you can try out some real equipment, trained on a proper stage set, and follow instructions on what to do.

          Then there was the 'blue' set with different superimposed backgrounds: The children loved being on the weather report/in teletubby land/skydiving/on coronation street/in dinosaur land ..... and one of our daughters was awestruck to see herself on screen where her t-shirt seemed to have disappeared - it was blue, which doesn't show up on screen. Very, very funny seeing her expression!

          Also a big hit was 'be a newsreader' where you could sit behind a desk and read the autocue, then watch it back afterwards. Very busy and popular, a great experience for children (and adults!).

          We also had a ride in the Simulator - well actually, we had two rides, because we got a special offer. The ride was stated as £2.75 per person, but a second ride was only £1.00. Choose from the Gorilla Safari (we didn't), The Haunted Mine Train or the Rocky Ravine (we did!) Very realistic and great fun.

          Two photography exhibitions were on another floor: 'Bradford Babies', which showed an archive of pictures taken by a local photographer over several decades.

          The other exhibition currently on show, was entitled 'Picturing the Ideal Human 1840 - now" and this was absolutely gripping. Only on until 19th April, but I had to mention it, the photographs in this were mainly concerned with birth and death over the ages, and showed some really moving scenes.

          The museum has a nice cafe on the ground floor, with average prices, and also a seperate indoor picnic area for those who have bought their own food - We sat here to eat our lunch and it was really nice and had a great view of the city from the large picture window.

          Toilets were clean but seemed to be confined to the ground floor. However, there were lifts as well as stairs, so they were easy enough to get to.

          The centre was well-staffed and we found everyone friendly and helpful.

          We will definitely be going back again soon!

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            01.05.2002 15:30
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            The minimalist chrome interior was a stark contrast to the run down and decaying suburban exterior. A weekend trip to Leeds had led to a day trip to Bradford, which had in turn led to a good few hours being spent here, at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. History Since it’s founding in 1983, the museum has been the most visited national museum outside London, attracting approximately 750,000 visitors each year. It’s part of the National Museum of Science and Industry, and was set up in Bradford because of the city's contribution to the development of cinema and film-making in the UK over the years. The museum boasts more than three million items of historical, social and cultural value, including the world's first negative, the world’s earliest television footage and what is regarded as the world's first example of moving pictures – Louis Le Prince's 1888 film of Leeds Bridge. The Museum Itself The museum is a popular one due to a mixture of the fascinating exhibits and it’s entry fee – nothing. Although you are asked to give £2 to museum funds if you can, this is not enforced. Plus, this is per party rather than per guest, and no one can argue that 2 quid is a lot for a family day out. Set out over 4 floors, the museum includes exhibition galleries, cinemas, hands-on a la Launchpad exhibits and of course, a café or two and a shop. Starting at the top, since that’s where we started, there’s a room or two devoted to the history of advertising, with some newspaper adverts displayed on the walls, and some television ones showing on small screens. One area takes you on a behind the scenes trip to an ad agency, letting the public have a glimpse at what goes on in this fascinating world. There is also a “traditional” museum area with old gadgets from bygone times, and scenes showing families watching the box way b
            ack when, complete with authentic props. They even have the original Playschool toys – this place is a worthy visit to see these alone. Finally on this floor is a TV Heaven area – there are 3 or 4 large books listing page after page of shows they have recorded – from Classic Corrie to, erm, Blind Date, and you can chose a couple of these to watch in the special viewing rooms, in a set up very similar to that at the New York museum of Film and Television. Dropping down a level we have the special exhibitions gallery. This has an entrance fee (and quite a steep one at that – about £5.60 for adults, and only slightly less for children) and we didn’t venture in, not being that hooked on James Bond, to whom the current exhibition is dedicated. There’s also a (free) Magic Factory which is great for kids, with lots of optical illusions and intriguing exhibits. Our only complaint was that quite a few of these had been removed and replaced with “Sorry, due to damage this exhibit has been removed to be repaired” signs. Our near-native hosts told us that this is nothing compared to what you get in September when school kids finally leave after 6 weeks of reeking havoc. Continuing downward you end up on level 2 which has displays to do with animation through the years (and a big awww, bless for the early days) and a few more “press a semi-broken button and see if something in front of you starts to move” games. This is also the floor the IMAX exit (see below) leads to. On the ground floor there’s the box office where you can buy cinema tickets, the café, the shop and the research centre. In what I would call the basement, but they class as ground floor level on their map, there’s a Kodak Gallery, with displays showing cameras and photos throughout the years, plus some gorgeous landscape shots. There are two cinemas – Imax and normal – and what’s on guides are
            available when you go in. Their showings are quite a varied mix, with everything from The Lady and The Tramp to In The Bedroom having been put on this month. Prices range from £2.40 (children, off peak) to £5.00 (adult, prime time) and Imax seats clock in at a ridiculous £4.00 (kids / OAPS / Students) to £5.80 (adults). We saw “Cyberworld 3D” in the Imax, and my only advice from that is to sit as far back as possible – the layout’s not that wonderful, and front row seats can give you a sore neck for days afterwards. The Good Points The museum is very aesthetically pleasing if you’re into pristine modern rather than dusty traditional decay. From the top 2 floors there are some amazing views over the city, and it’s surreal how you can stand in such a nice modern set up looking out at such an industrialized, dismal place. The front is nothing but panes of clear glass, although none of these windows are shaped a la Jemima, Big Ted and co’s. They have some really interesting displays, and, I have to confess, some fun buttons to press. The pick and mix sweets selection on the ground floor is huge and unusually varied too. There are toilets on every floor and a handful of lifts, although these are marked as to be used by disabled visitors / those with prams/pushcahirs only. For parents they have special guides so you can help your kids get the most out of the place, and in the Magic Factory and so on, all the games are marked with the key stage level for which they are most relevant in terms of matching up with syllabi. The Bad Points Naturally, the broken / missing displays became annoying. Although each floor was served by the lifts, there were numerous mezzanine style levels dotted here and there, which were only accessible by steps. The café had a very limited selection, and was quite expensive, although I suppose they have to make money somewhere. The shop, although nice and
            large, wasn’t all that good (says she who is a veteran of museum shops). They seemed to have a lot of James Bond memorabilia, and not much else. Plus for a museum dedicated to films, among other things, they appeared to be reluctant to embrace the world of DVDs. For once I bought nothing here, and if you know me, you'll also know that this is indeed a travesty. Hours The museum, shop and main cafe is open 10:00am - 6:00pm Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays. The Cinemas are open until late in the evening, and the accompanying Pictureville café-bar from 5:00pm to 9:00pm Getting There The museum is two miles from the M606. Follow signs to the city centre, and then to the museum itself. The official car park is as NCP one up the road, and there is also some off street parking at weekends. From Bradford Interchange station the museum is only a five minute, and if you’re coming by bus, we spotted a stop directly outside in the forecourt area. Verdict Since it’s free, it’s the type of place you could go again and again if you live locally, taking in a floor or two each time. I enjoyed our trip, and it was a refreshing change from the dusty old museums I’ve been frequenting of late. It was nice and informative without being dull, and nothing beats interactive set ups. Definitely a recommended visit by me. Official Website : www.nmpft.org.uk

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              07.10.2001 05:58
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              We had gone to Bradford for the University of Bradford open day as part of our tour around the UK universities to help our eldest son make his choice for next year. Our campus guide suggested that whilst we were in the town we should visit The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. Apart from this probably being the most difficult name to remember for a museum we decided to have a look after our lunch. We were very pleasantly surprised by this very “hands-on” museum. The displays cover every aspect of the film and television industries, plus a whole lot more. We thought that we would just have a quick five minute look around but ending up staying over two hours. There are four main floors, with another four extra levels leading off these. You can take on the role of television cameraman by operating a real, full size television camera on a mock-up film set, or read the news from a teleprompter in a “live” television studio. The history of television is fascinating, especially when you realise over what a short time span all of the development has occurred. Almost every exhibit can be operated, turned on or activated and this makes the whole visit very interesting. Other display areas include advertising, animation, photography, digital technology, news production, and the science of light. Every area has been cleverly set up to appeal to visitors of all ages. There is also a specialist Exhibitions Gallery where the displays are regularly changed. As well as the display areas there are three cinemas, IMAX, Cuddly Broccoli and Pictureville. There is a charge to go into these cinemas (entrance to everything else is free). The IMAX cinema has an enormous screen and shows 3D films. Although we did not have time to watch a film, we were fascinated by watching the activity in the IMAX projection room, which can be viewed from the museum. The size of the projectors and the whole set up is ver
              y impressive. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 10.00 – 18.00 and well worth a visit. The museum is also open on Monday Bank Holidays and during the school holidays on Mondays. You can read more about the cinemas and the exhibits from the web site: http://www.nmpft.org.uk (although do be prepared for a long wait for the home page to load.) There are a number of special events and activities run at the museum which looked very good. These seemed mostly aimed at children aged 5 – 12 and looked great fun. In the foyer there is a gift shop that also sells a very impressive collection of books on the film and television industry. If anybody is taking media studies then I am sure that a visit to this museum must be a very worthwhile addition to their studies. We enjoyed our visit to the museum and I am sure we will return next time we are in Bradford, and hopefully watch one of the IMAX films. The NMPFT is an excellent free attraction that I am sure it will appeal to all of the family.

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                13.11.2000 02:35
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                If so, The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford is the place to go. As part of the The National Museum of Science and Industry, The NMPFT is a place for the 21st Century. Whilst being informative and educational, it doesn't fail to be interesting and fun. Visitors learn about all aspects of photography, film and television, from the birth of this most popular of media to how sound and pictures are stored on tape and CDs, with the added bonus of many hands-on exhibitions, including "flying" on a magic carpet, directing your own production, and reading the news. You can even choose what programme you read it on, choosing from programmes such as the Nine O'clock News, News Round, and Look North, the local news programme. New exhibitions and interactive entertainment sites are being brought in constantly. The museum has several special exhibitions a year, the infamous "Dead Bodies" exhibiton being a past highlight, and the currently running (until April 2000) "Star Wars" exhibition has been a massive success, visited by thousands of Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. The Imax Cinema is a massive spectacle to behold, with the clearest, and biggest, of screens, and an excellent sound system. Films shown are of high quality, and of different subject matters, with new ones being installed all the time (check the web site for details). The museum has exhibitons to suit all ages, with many of them being particularly geared towards younger visitors, and school parties are very much welcomed. That is not to say, however, that adults are made to feel unwanted. The Museum is free to enter (charges made for Imax and Pictureville Cinemas), and very easy to find, it being well sign posted, and in the centre of the City. Parking is not a problem, although it doesn't have many spaces of its own, but it is only a few minutes away from other City Centre parking facilities. If you aren&
                #39;t driving here, it is close to the Interchange and Forster Square Station, so travelling by bus or rail isn't a hassle at all. The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television is well worth a visit, whether you want to get yourself out of the house for the day, or give the kids something interesting to do on the weekend.

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