History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Majestic Cinema

A Grade II Listed Building in King's Lynn, Norfolk

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7529 / 52°45'10"N

Longitude: 0.3974 / 0°23'50"E

OS Eastings: 561895

OS Northings: 319952

OS Grid: TF618199

Mapcode National: GBR N3Q.K8V

Mapcode Global: WHJP7.22HC

Entry Name: Majestic Cinema

Listing Date: 12 March 1999

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1271798

English Heritage Legacy ID: 473124

Location: King's Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk, PE30

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Town: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Electoral Ward/Division: St Margarets with St Nicholas

Built-Up Area: King's Lynn

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Find accommodation in
Kings Lynn

Listing Text


TF6119NE KING'S LYNN TOWER STREET
(Northwest side)
610/9/297
Majestic Cinema

II

Includes: Nos. 1 and 2 SEDGEFORD LANE.
Cinema and adjoining shop. 1927 by John Laurie Carnell and William Dymoke White of King's Lynn for East Anglia Entertainments limited. Brick with reconstituted stone dressings, roof not seen. Complex plan on curved corner site, with double-height foyer and former bathroom to front, and behind the original auditorium with balcony has been divided into two.
EXTERIOR: Asymmetrical facade to Tower Street; tower to the left, a two-storey three-bay central sectionwithafour-baywingtotherightarrangedasground,mezzanineandfirstfloors. Freely-treated Jacobean and Baroque style, in brick with reconstituted stone dressings. Tower in three stages: ground floor and mezzanine levers have emergency exit doors under a triple-light window surmounted by a segmental pediment; first floor: a tat[ window divided by mullions and transoms to create six lights, under a Jacobean style strap-work pediment incorporating a shell motif; the top stage (rising above the cinema roof) is divided from the lower stages by a broad string-course, above which is a clock face with Roman numerals under a Baroque modillioned central pediment. The clock faces and pediments are repeated on both return watts but with a modillioned cornice only at the rear. Tower capped by an ogee copper cap with ball finial. The angles of the tower are chamfered to form concave pilasters.
The three-bay central section is arranged as two orders divided by an entablature with a modillioned cornice and pulvinated frieze: the tower order has an arched loggia divided by Ionic pilasters. There are triple mouldings to the extrados of each arch and keystones in the form of cartouches. The upper order has Corinthian pilasters and nine-tight mullioned and transomed windows with brick border panels and
aprons extending below a string course. Above is a further modillioned entablature and a parapet.
The four-bay wing to the right has a shop at ground level with contemporary shopfront under fascia with dentil cornice, a mezzanine floor with twin leaded-tight windows under shouldered hood moulds, and mullioned and transomed four-light windows on the first floor, sections of which are blind and the rest leaded. Above is a cornice below a tiled mansard roof. Beyond is a single storey extension with a gabled roof. The side and rear elevations have windows with sliding -Shutters to the auditorium, and the stage has a door to a scene-dock.
Five steps up to entrance loggia. This is paved with black and white terrazzo, and the name' Majestic' is set into the central panel. Each panel is edged with a Greek fret design. The rear watt of the loggia is treated as a glazed screen with four sets of double entrance doors set within deep recesses and filled to three-quarter depth with twelve lights of clear glass, surrounded by mullioned and transomed leaded windows with panels of stained glazing containing armorial crests and devices; the central panel of the far left-hand section contains the construction date of the cinema: 1928. The loggia has a plain plaster ceiling with a moulded cornice. Original door handles.
INTERIOR: Rectangular galleried double-height foyer; the sides are supported on Tuscan columns and the rear wall with like pilasters. The right-hand gallery is deeper and forms a space formerly used as a tea room, with a kitchen beyond the back watt. Five bays of the foyer rear watt gallery form a solid screen with panels in Jacobean style, the central bay breaking forward to form an oriel filled with leaded and partly stained glazing. Gallery Balusters and fielded plaster ceiling in subdued Jacobean taste. The floor is in black and white terrazzo, divided into three panels and edged with Greek fret pattern. Beyond the foyer are two sets of stairs, left and right, with elaborate wrought metal balustrades and checkerboard pattern steps, to serve the foyer galleries, the auditorium balcony and the former ballroom.
The auditorium has been divided horizontally to create two cinemas but most of the decorative embellishment survives, including the proscenium arch with Corinthian pilasters, the lower part of which still serves the ground floor cinema and where its plinth can stitt be seen. Also to be seen in the lower cinema are the original iron supporting columns for the balcony, its curving front (simplified) and soffit decorations of elaborately moulded plasterwork. Entrance to the upper cinema is by way of side vomitoria with panelled doors. It preserves the balcony steppings, Corinthian pilasters on the sidewalls, the upper half of the proscenium, a modillioned cornice, a deep ceiling cove on three sides (with plaster divisions in strapwork style) and a central saucer dome also surrounded by plaster strapwork.
A third cinema has been created from the former ballroom on the first floor above the foyer. A contemporary local press report states that this room incorporates architectural salvage from the old Empire Theatre in Leicester Square, City of Westminster, which was demolished as the Majestic was being built. Much of this, reused work is still in-situ, such as the pilasters with composite capitals incorporating spread eagles and two columns with similar capitals - the latter originally created an aisle on the outer side but this is now partitioned off. The projection room is a conversion of a shallow balcony, the front of which survives decorated with plaster strapwork including a cartouche containing the date 1928. An exit to the left of the screen leads to stairs up to the rear of the main auditorium and down to doors at the base of the tower.
Included as an elaborate cinema complex dating from the late 1920s with much surviving internal decoration, particularly fine foyer spaces, and an unaltered exterior. It. is an example of how a wide-ranging local commercial practice of the time could be effectively employed in the specialist field of cinema design, and how the rare surviving cinemas from this time, especially those in market towns, contributed an air of civic prestige to the architecture of entertainment.
Sources
Stephen Peart, The Picture House in East Anglia, Lavenham, Terence Dalton ltd, 1980, pp.76-7, 161. Brian Hornsey, Ninety Years of Cinema in King's Lynn, Stamford, Fuschiaprint, 1993, pp.10, 12, 14. Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain, London, Lund Humphries, 1996, p.138.

to three-quarter depth with twelve lights of clear glass,surrounded by muttioned and transomed leaded windows with panels of stained glazing containing armorial crests and devices; the central panel of the far left-hand section contains the construction date of the cinema: 1928. The loggia has a plain plaster ceiling with a moulded cornice. Original door handles.
INTERIOR: Rectangular gatteried doubte-height foyer; the sides are supported on Tuscan columns and the rear wall with like pilasters. The right-hand gallery is deeper and forms a space formerly used as a tea room, with a kitchen beyond the back watt. Five bays of the foyer rear watt gattery form a solid screen with panels in Jacobean style, the central bay breaking forward to form an oriel filled with leaded and partly stained glazing. Gallery Balusters and fielded plaster ceiting in subdued Jacobean taste. The floor is in black and white terrazzo, divided into three panets and edged with Greek fret pattern. Beyond the foyer are two sets of stairs, left and right, with elaborate wrought metal balustrades and checkerboard pattern steps, to serve the foyer galleries, the auditorium balcony and the former ballroom.
The auditorium has been divided horizontat[y to create two cinemas but most of the decorative embellishment survives, including the proscenium arch with Corinthian pilasters, the lower part of which still serves the ground floor cinema and where its plinth can stitt be seen. Atso to be seen in the lower cinema are the original iron supporting columns for the balcony, its curving front (simplified) and soffitdecorationsofelaboratelymouldedplasterwork. Entrancetotheuppercinernaisbywayofside vomitoriawithpanetteddoors. ltpreservesthebalconysteppings,Corinthianpilastersonthesidewalls, the upper half of the proscenium, a rnodittioned cornice, a deep ceiling cove on threesides (with plaster divisions in strapwork style) and a central saucer dome also surrounded by plaster strapwork.
A third cinema has been created from the former battroom on the first floor above the foyer. A contemporary local press report states that this room incorporates architectural salvage from the old Empire Theatre in Leicester Square, City of Westminster, which was demolished as the Majestic was being built. Much of this,reused work is still in-situ, such as the pilasters with composite capitals incorporating spread eagles and two columns with similar capitats - the latter originalty created an aiste'on the outerside but this is now partitioned off. The projection room is a conversion of a shallow balcony, the front of which survives decorated with plaster strapwork including a cartouche containing the date 1928. An exit to the [eft of the screen leads to stairs up to the rear of the main auditorium and down to doors at the base of the tower.
Included as an elaborate cinema complex dating from the late 1920s with much surviving internal decoration, particularly fine foyer spaces, and an unaltered exterior. It. is an example of how a wide-ranging local commercial practice of the time could be effectively employed in the specialist field of cinema design, and how the rare surviving cinemas from this time, especiatly those in market towns, contributed an air of civic prestige to the architecture of entertainment.
Sources
Stephen Peart, The Picture House in East Anglia, lavenham, Terence Datton ltd, 1980, pp.76-7, 161. Brian Hornsey, Ninety Years of Cinema in King's Lynn, Starnford, Fuschiaprint, 1993, pp.10, 12, 14. Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain, London, lund Humphries, 1996, p.138.

Listing NGR: TF6189519951

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Selected Sources

Book cover links are generated automatically from the sources. They are not necessarily always correct, as book names at Amazon may not be quite the same as those used referenced in the text.

Source title links go to a search for the specified title at Amazon. Availability of the title is dependent on current publication status. You may also want to check AbeBooks, particularly for older titles.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.