Between Baroque and an art place: The history inside Lynn’s much-loved Majestic Cinema
PUBLISHED: 14:26 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:50 17 January 2018
If your great grandparents lived in King’s Lynn, the chances are they would have taken a trip to the pictures in Tower Street as a weekend treat.
The Majestic Cinema first opened its doors in May 1928, as movies moved from silent to sound and old Hollywood glamour dominated peoples’ social lives.
Fast forward 90 years and the Majestic is still as popular as ever.
General manager Tom Cundy said the cinema has seen their best year yet in terms of ticket sales - in 2017, it sold nearly 200,000 tickets, almost four times the population of King’s Lynn.
Due to ever-growing popularity, plans have been submitted for an extra screen with hundreds of seats in the ground floor.
“It’s a balancing act at the moment to try and keep the vintage history of the building and try to offer something modern as well,” Mr Cundy said. “The building does need work but it’s getting done, we are an independent cinema so we can’t do it quickly.”
Before entering the building, visitors can marvel at the Baroque-style decor, with stained glass windows, clock tower, curved archways and mosaic floor.
And even the inside is a sight to behold. The walls are decorated with intricately designed pillars and the magnificent domed ceilings and chandeliers within the three screens acts as a lasting reminder of the theatre’s past as a ballroom.
But parts of the cinema which most people don’t get to see holds even more significant pieces of cinema history.
A 35mm film projector still sits in the projection room for Screen One. Projectionists would manually place a film reel, which they would splice together themselves, into the 6ft piece of machinery used for motion pictures.
Although things have become much easier in the digital age, the projector remains in the building as a part of its cultural history.
The stairway located on the west side of the cinema leads to the tower clock, with original movie posters plastered on the walls along the way. One is of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which first released in cinema in 1937, while another enticed viewers with the latest Elvis flick.
At just £4 a ticket, it is one of the cheapest places in our region to watch a movie, making it the go-to destination for a day out for many.
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