Historic King’s Lynn cinema hopes to double in size with three new screens

A Grade II-listed cinema at the heart of King's Lynn hopes to double in size with the addition of three new screens.

The Majestic Cinema, in Tower Street, has been entertaining the masses since it opened in 1928 and boasts a stunning interior with intricate plaster work and stained glass windows.

Now, in a bid to move with the times, owner Paul Jervis is seeking planning permission for a modern two-storey extension on a public car park to the rear of the building.

The new, smaller, screens are to offer the latest cinema technology and have been designed to specifically appeal to families, the application says.

If the project goes ahead, all but ten of the 61 parking spaces in the council-owned St James Court car park would be lost to the development.

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With 95 seats each, the new screens would be smaller than the existing three, which seat from between 113 and 313 customers.

A report accompanying the application explains: 'Given the high number of new releases, there is little benefit in having individual screens with a large seating capacity.

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'The applicant needs to have multiple choices of movies to attract all areas of the market. The applicant has considerable experience in the cinema market and having operated the Majestic Cinema for ten years, the principal market will be a family one.

'It is therefore appropriate to extend the existing cinema accordingly. This, once completed, will allow flexibility in showing big first

release movies and niche/independent movies simultaneously.

'In addition, this flexibility allows blockbuster movies to transfer over to smaller screens in the latter stages of a movie run.'

Each of the new projectors will be fully digital and able to show 3D films. In the next 12 months, all the existing screens will also be made fully digital to meet the 'demands and expectations of modern cinema goers.'

The design and access statement, prepared by Russen and Turners, suggests the more modern facilities will attract visitors to King's Lynn town centre and help to revitalise the local economy.

Internal alterations to the building are to be kept to a minimum and the existing foyer will be continue to be used. An additional ticket office and refreshments shop are also planned.

Grassed areas, new paving and cycle stands are proposed to the rear of the building.

The applicant and West Norfolk Council have been in talks, the report says, and 'it is understood that the local authority will take into consideration the potential reduction of parking provisions in King's Lynn should the planning application be granted approval.'

Council leader Nick Daubney said it was exciting news for the town, but further discussion was needed.

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