Memories of the iconic Majestic building in Leeds through the years

The Majestic building has long been an iconic landmark in Leeds city centre, and has served a variety of purposes over the years.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 12:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 12:49 pm
The Majestic building has long been an iconic landmark in Leeds city centre
The Majestic building has long been an iconic landmark in Leeds city centre

Earlier this week it was announced that Channel 4 is in advanced negotiations with the owners of the historic venue over plans to use the site as its National HQ, housing a variety of roles from across the organisation. While it looks set to be transformed into a fancy new office space, the Majestic has served many different purposes throughout the years, having also been a former cinema, bingo hall and popular nightclub. Here's a look back at its colourful history.

The grade II listed building was built in the early 1920s on land bought by Leeds City Council for 80,000, on the site of a recruiting office used in the First World War.
The Majestic Cinema opened its doors on June 5 1922, with Way Down East being the first film to be shown on its screen. The venue was a popular haunt during the heyday of the cinema, and had a capacity of 2,500.

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Along with the cinema, the venue included a 500-seater restaurant and a dance hall, where afternoon tea dances and evening dance classes were held, making it a popular social haunt.
During the Second World War, the Majestic served as a dormitory for soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk, while also being used as an air raid shelter.
From 1961, afternoon bingo was held in the ballroom of the venue, which later became a full-time bingo hall in 1967.
The cinema closed in 1969, with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly serving as its final film screening.
The venue was once one of the most popular places to party in Leeds, with thousands of revellers hitting the dancefloor when it reopened in 1997 as the Majestyk nightclub.
Despite the closure of the Majestyk nightclub, the smaller downstairs venue, Jumpin' Jacks, remained open and the upper room continued to be used as a concert venue until 2008.
A fire badly damaged the building in 2014, with 10 fire engines and around 75 officers called out to tackle the blaze, which billowed from the second floor up to the roof.
The building looks set to become the home of Channel 4's National HQ, if current negotiations are successful. Officials hope to move into the Majestic in the second half of 2020.