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Majestic Cinema in King’s Lynn withdraws plans to expand

The Majestic. Picture: Archant

The Majestic. Picture: Archant

Archant

Plans to extend a popular independent cinema and install more than 200 new seats have been shelved.

Tower Street in the 1960s, showing the Majestic's clock tower. Picture: Archant library Tower Street in the 1960s, showing the Majestic's clock tower. Picture: Archant library

Councillors were due to discuss proposals to extend the 673-seat Majestic, on King’s Lynn’s Tower Street.

Operator Premier Cinemas wanted to build a new auditorium to the side of the Grade II listed building, off Sedgeford Lane, providing a further 120 seats and a new auditorium inside providing another 100.

But West Norfolk council’s planning website now says that the application has been withdrawn, without further explanation. The Majestic has not yet commented on why it has been withdrawn.

Highways officers had asked for the plans to be revised after raising concerns about doors opening directly onto a highway.

A planning statement which accompanied the application said: “The new extension and internal alterations to the existing cinema will provide the town with a modern leisure facility, ensuring the viability of the cinema economically and ensuring the fabric of this prominent building will be maintained moving forward.”

Improved access for disabled cinema-goers including a stair lift were also included in proposals for the town centre site near the Vancouver Quarter.

Planning permission was originally granted in 2013 for the cinema to double in size with an extra three screens. But the work never went ahead.

Once every Norfolk market town had a picture house. Now the art deco Majestic is one of the region’s few remaining independent cinemas.

It opened in May 1928 at the height of the silent movie era, with stars like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The date is commemorated in the stained glass windows at the front of the building.

As well as silver screens showing the latest releases, the Majestic also boasted a fine ballroom, whose sprung floor still remains beneath what is now Screen 3.

The cinema celebrates its 90th anniversary next year. Its website says: “As an independent cinema, the Majestic prides itself on being a friendly place to come for all movie goers.

“The main attraction to the Majestic, beside its films, is the building itself and all the history that comes with it.”

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