A Visit To The National Media Museum


Alexander-Honest MumThe National Media Museum, situated in the heart of Bradford, UNESCO City of Film no less, had a huge impact on me as a child and even contributed to me becoming a filmmaker.

(In fact I was hugely honoured to screen my films in their epic on site cinema as part of film festivals hosted there -talk about coming full circle!)

…It’s where I first ‘read the news on camera’ and learnt about special effects via their magic carpet flying experience. And it really was magical. It still is.

Always a wondrous hub of discovery, a place my brother and I just couldn’t wait to visit, I can safely say its legacy continues!

…A portal for interactive learning, a place where kids are allowed and encouraged to touch and use machines (film and tv equipment) and take control, it opens them up to the immense possibility of science and technology and it’s utterly enthralling.

Children are introduced to the birth of TV, the games we used to play and small seeds are planted to help them understand a little on the context of how we’re here, right now, in the brave new digital age.

TV and Media Museum

The National Media Museum really is a must-see (hear and play) for big and little people everywhere.

From illusions shows in the Magic Factory to secrets of filming wildlife in the North Pole, this museum meets the needs of enquiring minds!

National TV and Media Museum

games-Honest Mum

With 3 and 4D kids films on at the IMAX there (the biggest in Yorkshire), rotating exhibitions, activities held throughout the school holidays (we made decorative and functional 3D glasses in the summer) and a gift shop that actually stocks useful kids’ toys and games (really) along with books on filmmaking and social media (I was in heaven), you don’t want to miss out! It’s free entry too!

And did I mention you all get to play on 80’s and 90’s style arcade games in the Games Lounge that are a permanent fixture! I felt 14 again!

arcade games

games-Honest MumNational Media MuseumCurrent, engaging and most importantly fun, it’s more vital than ever as we all (our kids included) use and fit into a rapidly-changing, exciting media landscape.

This place speaks to me. And my family.

Oliver-Honest Mum

The stand-out exhibition for me personally was on the ground floor-the history of the internet- I learnt so much on the impact of YouTube and the worldwide influence bloggers and social media entrepreneurs truly have- insightful stuff for this now, full time blogger.

history of the internet

The water-themed exhibition and gallery on understanding how wildlife films are made seemed to be the overall highlight for the kids!


There were areas they could dress up in camouflage gear and books to read on fish before trying out an installation to feel what it’s like to be underwater!

animals-Honest Mum

What an eye-opener of a museum that deserves to be sung about from the hill tops (or the Yorkshire Moors in this case)!

Home to over 3.5 million items of historical significance, they look after the National Photography, National Cinematography, National Television and National New Media Collections so they’ll always be something fascinating to see and do.

Here are just some of the things on there so do consider heading to the museum in half-term to inform and entertain your kids-this half term (October 2014 is dedicated to Horrible Histories):

  • Insight: Collections & Research Centre is where much of the Collection is held, to be explored and enjoyed by everybody.
  • Traditional and interactive galleries located across eight floors of the Museum investigate and celebrate film, photography, television, animation and new media.
  • Two gallery spaces display a changing programme of exhibitions which are inspired by our Collection.
  • The UK’s first IMAX theatre opened right here in Bradford. It continues to offer an exciting programme of 3D and blockbuster films for that essential, all-embracing viewing experience.
  • The Museum houses two other cinemas which can accommodate a wide range of film formats. Their Pictureville and Cubby Broccoli cinemas host an impressive film programme, from cult classics to contemporary art house cinema.
  • Pictureville cinema boasts the only permanent, regularly programmed Cinerama installation in Europe, a magnet for enthusiasts worldwide.
  • The Museum organises two major film festivals every year: Bradford International Film Festival and the Bradford Animation Festival.
  • A comprehensive programme of cultural and educational events and activities bring the Museum’s subject matter to life for families, schools and adults alike.
  • The Media Café and Pictureville Bar serves up a stunning selection of food and drink, while the Museum Shop stocks a wide range of media-related resources, gifts and souvenirs (I picked up some cracking blogging and photography books while I was there).
  • For a venue with a difference, the Museum can provide the setting for a whole spectrum of events, from birthday celebrations to corporate conferences.
  • Membership @ National Media Museum gives visitors the opportunity to experience everything that we have to offer with added value and exclusivity, while supporting the National Media Museum right here in Bradford.

Incredible, so what you waiting for, enjoy!




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