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Corn Exchange revamp 'golden opportunity' for town

PUBLISHED: 13:05 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:16 28 January 2020

Scaffolding is in place around King's Lynn Corn Exchange, where a cinema is being installed  Picture: Chris Bishop

Scaffolding is in place around King's Lynn Corn Exchange, where a cinema is being installed Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Live shows return to King's Lynn Corn Exchange in March, after a £1.6m refurb which includes a new cinema.

An artist's impression of the new cinema being installed at King's Lynn Corn Exchange  Picture: McFarlane Latter ArchitectsAn artist's impression of the new cinema being installed at King's Lynn Corn Exchange Picture: McFarlane Latter Architects

West Norfolk council, which owns the venue, wants to replace a first floor foyer and bar area with two 50-seat cinema screens.

The glazed roof is being replaced with acoustically sealed zinc panels. Repairs are being made to the Grade II listed stonework façade, gutters and flashings.

A new floor will be put in the main foyer, with cladding of the box office and bar counters. The ground floor toilets will be refurbished, with additional female toilets.

Scaffolding is in place around King's Lynn Corn Exchange, where a cinema is being installed  Picture: Chris BishopScaffolding is in place around King's Lynn Corn Exchange, where a cinema is being installed Picture: Chris Bishop

A cinema box office and concessions kiosk will be created. A new staircase and lift will lead to the cinema foyer on the first floor. A two-screen digital cinema will be built in the currently under-used space in the upper foyer and front balcony. Screen one will have 58 seats and screen two will seat 52 people, with wheelchair provision for both screens.

Officials expect the cinema will bring in £200,000 a year after it opens this summer.

There will be special screenings for parent and babies, parent and toddlers, 'silver screenings' for the over-60s and family screenings at the weekend.

Inside the new cinema - an artist's impression  Picture:  McFarlane Latter ArchitectsInside the new cinema - an artist's impression Picture: McFarlane Latter Architects

Elizabeth Nockolds, the council's cabinet member for culturemand heritage, said: "Following the most successful panto run ever, over 22 thousand people came and enjoyed the show, this is the perfect time to start this work.

"The Alive Corn Exchange will have a bright new look and the cinema will bring more people in to King's Lynn who will hopefully stay for longer. This is a golden opportunity for the town."

The Grade II Listed Corn Exchange was originaly built on the Tuesday Market Place in 1854.

Scaffolding is in place around King's Lynn Corn Exchange, where a cinema is being installed  Picture: Chris BishopScaffolding is in place around King's Lynn Corn Exchange, where a cinema is being installed Picture: Chris Bishop

In the mid-1990s, it was given a £4.4m refurb which included a rear extension.

The first events after it reopens include Neil Diamond tribute act Sweet Caroline on Thursday, March 5, a Tina Turner tribute on Saturday, March 7 and an evening with Jim Davidson on Thursday, March 12.

How the ground floor box office will look Picture:  McFarlane Latter ArchitectsHow the ground floor box office will look Picture: McFarlane Latter Architects



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