Farewell to another slice of King’s Lynn’s history as Zoots, aka the Pilot Cinema, is reduced to rubble

The former Pilot cinema and Zoots nightclub, is half way to being pulled down, ready for the site to be re-developed. Picture: Matthew Usher. The former Pilot cinema and Zoots nightclub, is half way to being pulled down, ready for the site to be re-developed. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Friday, April 4, 2014
11:41 AM

As the smog gripped the old North End, the old Pilot Cinema was being reduced to dust as the earth movers moved in.

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The 1930s art deco building, which finally closed its doors in 2005 after a spell as Zoots nightclub, is being knocked down to make way for housing.

Freebridge Community Housing, which is behind the development, plans to build 25 affordable homes on the site, off the busy John Kennedy Road.

They include seven semi-detached houses and 18 flats - slightly less than were proposed in an earlier scheme, which was rejected by West Norfolk councillors because they thought it was too large for the site.

Parking will now be provided for every property, along with a new junction onto John Kennedy Road and North Street.

Freebridge said that the development was one of its recent milestones, as it celebrates its eighth birthday.

Along with work on the Pilot site, the last year has seen the housing association open the Olive Branch Café in partnership with the Purfleet Trust, the purchase of the Providence Street Youth Centre and the start of work on the £30m revamp of Hillington Square, which is now well under way.

Freebridge chief executive Tony Hall said: “When we reflect on what has been achieved over the past eight years, we are extremely proud of how far we’ve come as an organisation.

“Our birthday is an opportunity to thank all our customers and everyone who works for and with us, for their continued commitment to a better west Norfolk.”

The stock transfer, which took place in April 2006, saw homes moving from the control of West Norfolk council to the new social landlord.

A vote from tenants showed 77pc support for the transfer, which meant funds could be released to improve more than 6,000 homes and 17 sheltered housing schemes.

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