The Forum, Bath

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The Forum
The Forum Bath.JPG
LocationBath, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°22′43″N 2°21′36″W / 51.37861°N 2.36000°W / 51.37861; -2.36000Coordinates: 51°22′43″N 2°21′36″W / 51.37861°N 2.36000°W / 51.37861; -2.36000
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated28 May 1986[1]
Reference no.448551
The Forum, Bath is located in Somerset
The Forum, Bath
Location of The Forum in Somerset

The Forum was built as an art deco cinema in Bath, Somerset, England, in 1934, and was designated as a Grade II* listed building on 28 May 1986.[1] The building closed as a cinema in 1969, and has subsequently been used as a dancing school, a bingo hall and a church. Its main auditorium has 1,600 seats, making it Bath's largest event venue.


The Forum was built by William Henry Watkins and E Morgan Willmott, assisted by A Stuart Gray,[1] at the cost of £80,000 (equivalent to £5,578,693 in 2018)[2] with a steel frame covered by Bath Stone cladding in a combination of art deco and neo-classical style. Inside the walls are brick with concrete floors, with large art deco candelabra lighting. Above the auditorium is a ballroom with a sprung floor and below it on the exterior of the building are shops.[1] The building was heated by radiators, but also by washed air, a novelty in the 1930s.[2]


The Forum initially sat 2000 and was opened on 19 May 1934 by the Marquis of Bath and was used as a cinema until 1969 when it was home to a dancing school and bingo hall. The building is owned by Bath and North East Somerset Council, and from 1988 is let on a 700-year term lease to the Bath Christian Trust as the home of Bath City Church.[3] It presently has 1600 seats, making it Bath's largest venue for events[4] and so is also used for concerts, performances and presentations.[5]

The Forum has undergone a programme of extensive renovations under the supervision of Stubbs Rich Architects.[3][5] In 2014, the Bath Christian Trust put together plans to convert part of The Forum's ground floor into a café which is now open.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Forum". Images of England. English Heritage. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Bath Forum cinema: Opening by Lord Bath this afternoon". Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette. 19 May 1934. p. 3. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Facelift for The Forum". ThisIsBath. 30 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. The building is owned by B&NES Council and let on a long term lease to the church ... Our understanding is that the council owns the freehold and Bath Christian Trust - the official name of the church - has a 700-year lease.
  4. ^ a b Gillespie, L. J. (4 February 2014). "Bath City Church to open new cafe at The Forum". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b "History". The Forum. Archived from the original on 12 February 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2016.

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