The Imaginarium Leeds: the city center’s new arts and music venue with its own pop-up record store

Much-loved community and arts space The Imaginarium moves into permanent residence in central Leeds this month, bringing together a cafe, pop-up factory and record stores with a multipurpose event space.

Beginning life in Kirkstall in 2019, the Imaginarium has quickly become a valuable resource for locals with its busy schedule of musical and artistic events.

Now that there is a need to expand its reach, the venue moves to a dramatic space on Church Walk, making the most of the street’s grand arcades.

Phil Warner and Rory Flynn at the Imaginarium, Church Walk, Leeds, a new creative space for artists and musicians. October 13, 2022. Photo Bruce Rollinson

“I think [the new location] is just more appropriate, especially when you’re trying to do something that’s for the community,” explained Rob Chadwick, co-creator of The Imaginarium.

“People want to gravitate towards downtown, so I think it was appealing that way too – plus the venue and the arches are really cool!”

The 120-seat multipurpose room will be a place to soak up carefully curated events, ranging from house to techno with nights like Subterranea and The Off Licence.

The Imaginarium will also house numerous pop-up stalls during the week, ranging from record stalls to plant sales, all to be enjoyed with a hot drink at an on-site café.

“If people want to come and relax, or even get involved in musical events, then [The Imaginarium] is a place where they can do that,” Rob continued.

“I know when I came to Leeds I had a blank canvas and I met people who gave me a chance to develop. You don’t really understand that now because of social media and it doesn’t doesn’t work as well.” , so we want to be one of those communities where you can actually meet people in person.

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