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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
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 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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