THE Elite Cinema in Leyburn used to have them queuing out the doors to see the latest blockbuster movies featuring top Hollywood stars. Now the former cinema, which closed six years ago, is proving a box office hit for Charltons Estate Agents as a result of its refurbishment into stylish residential apartments and a streetfacing office suite.

Renamed Elite Apartments, the old picture house has seen four of its new units sold off plan, prior to their completion. Charltons’ principal, Mike Charlton, is expecting there to be a big demand for the final two apartments, one of which is now ready for occupation.

“Elite Apartments offers stunning accommodation in the heart of Leyburn, which is itself an extremely desirable residential location,” said Mike.

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“The three-bedroom apartment we are now able to offer for sale features a fabulous openplan lounge, kitchen and dining area with a south-facing balcony overlooking Penn Hill and the beautiful landscape of Wensleydale.

“For those seeking the convenience of apartment living, this property and its location are second to none.”

The apartment, which is available for immediate possession, features three double bedrooms, one with en-suite shower room, a further bathroom, fully-fitted and integrated kitchen and oak flooring in the open-plan living area.

Two further apartments were sold prior to the completion of their refurbishment, as was the commercial unit which has been created in the former foyer of the cinema and will be used as an office. A third completed apartment is under offer and another has yet to be completed. It will be brought to the market within a few months.

The Elite Cinema dated from the 1920s, when the silent movies gave way to ‘talkies’ and black and white films were brought to realistic life in Technicolor. It closed in 2007 when the owners decided to retire after running the cinema for 13 years but was reopened as The Picture House seven months later by a group of volunteers registered as a charity. In October, 2008, however, the cinema closed for the last time.

Prior to its recent refurbishment, the 172- seat auditorium survived almost intact.

“We had originally hoped to sell the Elite as a going concern but unfortunately there was little demand,” said Mike. “Sadly, for those of us who fondly remember going to the pictures for Saturday matinees and to see the big movies of a golden era, time had moved on.

“What has been created out of the cinema’s demise, however, is a beautiful and soughtafter complex that retains the art deco features of its façade while offering accommodation built to the exacting standards of quality and insulation demanded in the 21st century.

Elite Apartments is a fitting metamorphosis of a much-loved Leyburn institution.”

The three-bedroom apartment at Elite Apartments is offered for sale at a fixed price of £250,000. For more information or to arrange a viewing contact Charlton’s Estate Agents on 01748 822525 or log on to