Bringing back the Majestic

The Northern Echo: VINTAGE LOOK: The old Majestic cinema at Bondgate, Darlington in its current stage of restoration.     Picture: ANDY LAMB VINTAGE LOOK: The old Majestic cinema at Bondgate, Darlington in its current stage of restoration. Picture: ANDY LAMB

A FORMER Majestic cinema is starting to look exactly that again after months of refurbishment have revealed its stunning art-deco facade.

The 1930s building, in Darlington, has been shrouded in cladding and metal girders since becoming an Odeon cinema in the 1940s and a snooker club in the 80s.

It was recently bought by North-East property developer Devlin Hunter and work started in January to restore the building to some of its former glory.

Residents will be delighted to see the back of the ugly metal girders that obscured much of the building’s original facade which still boasts art deco features and stained glass windows.

The building is being converted into a children’s soft play venue called Bing Bong Soft Play and is expected to be operational by the end of the summer.

Future plans include transforming the upper floors into a theatre and restaurant by 2015.

Comments (8)

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1:53pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Bank of Europe says...

‎The Majestic, the future
Having some issues we thought we should tell you about, its regarding the seating for upstairs. we are quite keen on securing the seats from the arts center, however the price that the council want for them is far too high, not even sensibly priced. we were hoping to buy them, and as a new business setting out, with a very popular fan base, that they would let us have them at a fair rate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This must be one of the few areas in the country that does not support enterprise, and after all the hard work, is a little frustrating. Anyone come across 300-350 nice theater/cinema seats, please, pass it on. Thanks again.
‎The Majestic, the future Having some issues we thought we should tell you about, its regarding the seating for upstairs. we are quite keen on securing the seats from the arts center, however the price that the council want for them is far too high, not even sensibly priced. we were hoping to buy them, and as a new business setting out, with a very popular fan base, that they would let us have them at a fair rate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This must be one of the few areas in the country that does not support enterprise, and after all the hard work, is a little frustrating. Anyone come across 300-350 nice theater/cinema seats, please, pass it on. Thanks again. Bank of Europe
  • Score: 33

2:38pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Bright And Cheerful says...

I only remember this building as The Odeon cinema and saw a fair few films there but probably in hindsight not as many as I might've because the household budget was quite low which I would not have realised at the time.

My knowledge of cinemas in Darlington over the years is limited but I seem to remember my Father saying there were quite a selection and I do remember perhaps some 30 years plus on the corner of Gladstone St/Northgate us both coming across a cinema that had obviously not been used for years but doors were open and we peaked inside and saw what remained of a beautiful interior with much decoration.

It was being demolished for an office block which as far as I know has been empty for years if it has ever been used since it was built.

This re-launching of The Majestic is an interesting project and reminds me of another enterprising venue that has had new life breathed into it by someone with passion in Gilesgate in Durham. The old Rex Cinema is now a café, a launderette and holds some small musical shows/plays in the evenings(The Old Cinema Launderette)

I did not realise this refurbishment was happening until I came across this article because I tend to stick to the town centre when shopping and in the last few years have started to travel more to Durham. Unless I am having a night out at the Civic Theatre.

Wishing the project every success.

Anyone know when this building closed as the Odeon to give me an idea when I probably last went there to see a film? Or any info on the other cinemas that were in the town(Other than the ABC which is now The Odeon)Thanks.
I only remember this building as The Odeon cinema and saw a fair few films there but probably in hindsight not as many as I might've because the household budget was quite low which I would not have realised at the time. My knowledge of cinemas in Darlington over the years is limited but I seem to remember my Father saying there were quite a selection and I do remember perhaps some 30 years plus on the corner of Gladstone St/Northgate us both coming across a cinema that had obviously not been used for years but doors were open and we peaked inside and saw what remained of a beautiful interior with much decoration. It was being demolished for an office block which as far as I know has been empty for years if it has ever been used since it was built. This re-launching of The Majestic is an interesting project and reminds me of another enterprising venue that has had new life breathed into it by someone with passion in Gilesgate in Durham. The old Rex Cinema is now a café, a launderette and holds some small musical shows/plays in the evenings(The Old Cinema Launderette) I did not realise this refurbishment was happening until I came across this article because I tend to stick to the town centre when shopping and in the last few years have started to travel more to Durham. Unless I am having a night out at the Civic Theatre. Wishing the project every success. Anyone know when this building closed as the Odeon to give me an idea when I probably last went there to see a film? Or any info on the other cinemas that were in the town(Other than the ABC which is now The Odeon)Thanks. Bright And Cheerful
  • Score: 2

4:05pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Cenydd22 says...

I remember the cinema as the Odeon, although my parents always refered to it as The Majestic. The other cinema mentioned by Bright and Cheerful on the Northgate-Gladstone Street corner was the Gaumont, previously the Alhambra.
At one time Darlington had more cinemas per head of population than any other town in England.
I remember the cinema as the Odeon, although my parents always refered to it as The Majestic. The other cinema mentioned by Bright and Cheerful on the Northgate-Gladstone Street corner was the Gaumont, previously the Alhambra. At one time Darlington had more cinemas per head of population than any other town in England. Cenydd22
  • Score: 5

6:41pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Border Terrier says...

Its a wonder DBC has not demolished this glorious building and pedestrianized it.
Its a wonder DBC has not demolished this glorious building and pedestrianized it. Border Terrier
  • Score: 13

6:55pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Hunty1 says...

Bank of Europe wrote:
‎The Majestic, the future
Having some issues we thought we should tell you about, its regarding the seating for upstairs. we are quite keen on securing the seats from the arts center, however the price that the council want for them is far too high, not even sensibly priced. we were hoping to buy them, and as a new business setting out, with a very popular fan base, that they would let us have them at a fair rate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This must be one of the few areas in the country that does not support enterprise, and after all the hard work, is a little frustrating. Anyone come across 300-350 nice theater/cinema seats, please, pass it on. Thanks again.
Contact all the demolition companies, they'll know who may have some.. Fab job on the building, need to help the guys out in Redcar!
[quote][p][bold]Bank of Europe[/bold] wrote: ‎The Majestic, the future Having some issues we thought we should tell you about, its regarding the seating for upstairs. we are quite keen on securing the seats from the arts center, however the price that the council want for them is far too high, not even sensibly priced. we were hoping to buy them, and as a new business setting out, with a very popular fan base, that they would let us have them at a fair rate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This must be one of the few areas in the country that does not support enterprise, and after all the hard work, is a little frustrating. Anyone come across 300-350 nice theater/cinema seats, please, pass it on. Thanks again.[/p][/quote]Contact all the demolition companies, they'll know who may have some.. Fab job on the building, need to help the guys out in Redcar! Hunty1
  • Score: 10

11:26pm Sun 6 Jul 14

joeninety says...

Cinemas I recall were;-
Scala in Eldon Street
Regent in Cobden Street
Gaumont in North Road
Empire in East Street
Cinemas I recall were;- Scala in Eldon Street Regent in Cobden Street Gaumont in North Road Empire in East Street joeninety
  • Score: 1

12:35pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Bright And Cheerful says...

Cenydd22 wrote:
I remember the cinema as the Odeon, although my parents always refered to it as The Majestic. The other cinema mentioned by Bright and Cheerful on the Northgate-Gladstone Street corner was the Gaumont, previously the Alhambra.
At one time Darlington had more cinemas per head of population than any other town in England.
You have helped a lot with filling in the gaps regarding that particular cinema which led me to a site that which tells me that it was demolished even further back to what I thought, how sad that it was lost. I was therefore 15 when it was demolished and six years old when it closed but never saw a film there.

Thanks everyone for other memories too.

http://cinematreasur
es.org/theaters/3965
5
[quote][p][bold]Cenydd22[/bold] wrote: I remember the cinema as the Odeon, although my parents always refered to it as The Majestic. The other cinema mentioned by Bright and Cheerful on the Northgate-Gladstone Street corner was the Gaumont, previously the Alhambra. At one time Darlington had more cinemas per head of population than any other town in England.[/p][/quote]You have helped a lot with filling in the gaps regarding that particular cinema which led me to a site that which tells me that it was demolished even further back to what I thought, how sad that it was lost. I was therefore 15 when it was demolished and six years old when it closed but never saw a film there. Thanks everyone for other memories too. http://cinematreasur es.org/theaters/3965 5 Bright And Cheerful
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Mon 7 Jul 14

charliebrown1 says...

Bank of Europe wrote:
‎The Majestic, the future Having some issues we thought we should tell you about, its regarding the seating for upstairs. we are quite keen on securing the seats from the arts center, however the price that the council want for them is far too high, not even sensibly priced. we were hoping to buy them, and as a new business setting out, with a very popular fan base, that they would let us have them at a fair rate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This must be one of the few areas in the country that does not support enterprise, and after all the hard work, is a little frustrating. Anyone come across 300-350 nice theater/cinema seats, please, pass it on. Thanks again.
what a surprise, the council arent willing to help another unless it lines their pockets first
[quote][p][bold]Bank of Europe[/bold] wrote: ‎The Majestic, the future Having some issues we thought we should tell you about, its regarding the seating for upstairs. we are quite keen on securing the seats from the arts center, however the price that the council want for them is far too high, not even sensibly priced. we were hoping to buy them, and as a new business setting out, with a very popular fan base, that they would let us have them at a fair rate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This must be one of the few areas in the country that does not support enterprise, and after all the hard work, is a little frustrating. Anyone come across 300-350 nice theater/cinema seats, please, pass it on. Thanks again.[/p][/quote]what a surprise, the council arent willing to help another unless it lines their pockets first charliebrown1
  • Score: 5
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