Leeds city centre cinema plan for ex-nightclub

A landmark building in Leeds city centre could be restored to its former glory as a cinema as part of a development scheme.

Leeds-based developer Rushbond has submitted two planning applications for the former Majestyk nightclub, a grade II-listed building in City Square that has stood empty for the past four years.

Built in the 1920s, it opened on June 5 1922 as the Majestic Cinema with a restaurant in the basement.

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Under Rushbond's proposals, the ground and upper floors could be used as a cinema, concert hall, dance hall, bingo and gym, while the basement would become a live music venue and nightclub.

A design and access statement prepared by Rushbond's architects, DLG, as part of the applications describes the building as "uninviting" and "very closed" and it is planned to insert ground-floor windows along Quebec Street and Wellington Street to create a more "lively street frontage."

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The front flat roof overlooking City Square will be paved and used as a terrace. The canopy over the main entrance will be replaced by one more in keeping with the building's age.

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The statement says: "The Majestic building is a key part of City Square.

"The closure of the nightclub in 2006 and the demise of the building more recently is a cause for concern.

"However, it sale and purchase by the applicant offer the opportunity to breathe new life into the building and for it to offer a greater contribution to the Leeds street scene."

Submitted in recent weeks, the applications will be discussed by the council's city centre plans panel later this year.

The Majestic was one of a group of big cinemas opened shortly after the first world war.

It had a total capacity of about 2,800 and operated as a cinema until 1969. It then became a bingo hall and was converted to a nightclub in the mid 1990s.

Luminar Leisure inherited the club in 2001 when it took over from Northern Leisure.

The building was put up for sale earlier this year and bought by Rushond after an application to use it as a casino was rejected by the council and turned down on appeal by Leeds Crown court.

Shilton Flynn.

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