Celebrating 90th birthday of the Majestic Cinema
A popular independent cinema celebrates its 90th birthday with a special screening tonight.
The Majestic, in King’s Lynn’s Tower Street, first opened in May 1928, as ‘talkies’ began to oust the great silent films featuring the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
The art deco venue with its stained glass, curved archway and mosaic floor harks back to the start of the Hollywood glamour era.
Patrons will arrive in all their finery tonight for a 1940s-themed evening which includes raising a glass of prosecco before a special screening of the 1942 blockbuster Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman on the cinema’s vintage 35mm film projector.
A similar event to mark the Majestic’s 85th birthday was attended by 300 people.
Manager Tom Cundy said tonight’s event was close to selling out.
“We’ve sold 250 tickets, which is really good,” he said. “We’ve got the mayor, some other dignitaries and competition winners coming so it’s not going to be far off.”
Despite its age and the advent of TV, video, DVD and online streaming, the Majestic remains as popular as ever.
Mr Cundy said: “It sounds a bit cheesy but the focus is on the customer.
“The building itself holds a lot of memories. There are new seats, toilets and screens but the structure of the building still feels the same.
“It’s the atmosphere that the building creates.”
The 673-seat cinema has plans to expand, with another screen and more than 200 extra seats in an extension.
There will also be improved access for disabled cinema-goers, with a stairlift included.
Mr Cundy said the development was ongoing. Once the results of a recent archaeological survey are known, quotes will be obtained for the work before building begins.
A planning statement with its 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 and ensuring the fabric of this prominent building will be maintained moving forward.”
To check if tickets are available for tonight, call 01553 771918.
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