Majestic Cinema

Quebec Street,
Leeds, LS1 4DS

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Majestic Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in Leeds city centre at the junction of Quebec Street and Wellington Street, by City Square. Opened on 5th June 1922, and designed by architects Pascal J. Stienlet and J.C. Maxwell for Leeds Picture Playhouse Ltd., the Majestic Picture Theatre suited its name entirely. The wide spacious auditorium, with a single balcony, was richly decorated with wall motifs and an enormous plaster frieze. It had its own Symphony Orchestra and an organ.

Together with the 1911 Picture House (demolished) and the 1932 Paramount Theatre (later Odeon Headrow closed 2001), the Majestic Cinema was one of the premiere cinemas in the city throughout its life.

It was taken over by the Provincial Cinematograph Theatres (PCT) chain in December 1925, and they were taken over by Gaumont British Theatres in February 1929.

It closed by the Rank Organisation on 10th July 1969, after the Odeon had been twinned, and the Majestic Cinema immediately became a Top Rank Bingo Club.

It became a popular nightclub known as the Majestyk, with another nightclub Jumpin' Jacks located in the basement.

The Majestyk Nightclub was closed in late-2008, and became a concert venue, with Jumpin' Jacks continuing as a nightclub. Proposals to convert the building into a casino were refused and went to appeal in June 2009.

In 2012, the main auditorium has been converted into retail units, with many of the original decorative features retained.

Since 14th June 1993, the Majestic Cinema has been designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

mike2001 on April 30, 2009 at 1:53 pm

saw , the sound of music, here. What a great screen…sadly missed

monika on June 17, 2009 at 10:14 am

At the intersection of Wellington Street and Quebec Street.

woody on July 24, 2009 at 7:49 am

an exterior from a few years ago showing the scale of the building and the stage house
View link

John Farrar
John Farrar on November 25, 2010 at 2:59 am

Some Todd-AO / 70mm Roadshows at the Majestic:

SOUTH PACIFIC – 21st Sept 1958 to 27th June 1959 (40 weeks)
THE SOUND OF MUSIC – 18th April 1965 to 30th Sept 1967 (128 weeks)
DOCTOR DOLITTLE – 24th Dec 1967 to 27 April 1968 (18 weeks)
STAR! – 21st July 1968 to 23rd Nov 1968 (18 weeks)
OLIVER! – 22nd Dec 1968 to 26th April (18 weeks)

Ian on October 29, 2012 at 2:25 am

The former Majestic has now been converted to – at the time of writing – unlet retail space with a possible separate live music venue in the basement. Most surviving internal features have been retained but additional windows have been punched through at ground floor level. Two photos from October 2012.



PS – can the name of this entry be changed back to Majestic now please?

Dazcool68 on December 2, 2012 at 6:57 am

My mother used to work at the Majestic , not sure of the years she worked there but , she used to talk about when the Rolling Stones appeared there and Judy Garland, as well as seeing the big blockbuster movies of the time such as The Sound Of Music over and over again as an usherette.

bikerpeter on February 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I’ve always loved the cinema experience, not just to see films but to absorb the atmosphere and decor. Still a teenager, my first experience of big screen presentations was South Pacific in the fifties at the Majestic which “flicked my switch”. A few years later I got a job with Rank as trainee assistant manager and subsequently deputised for managers rest days at various cinemas in Yorkshire and Lancashire. My last base was at the Majestic Leeds at the start of record run of Sound of Music. Lee Prescott was the General Manager and the staff were a friendly hard working brigade.Every morning arriving for work with queues already formed at the Advance booking office on Wellington Street. I took every opportunity to stand at the back of the stalls under the projection booth to take in the opening sequence as the camera panned down onto Julie Andrews and the accompanying enveloping sound system. So sad to see the venue close and absolutely horrifying to see the gross vandalism of the massive dome as can be seen on Flickr. Still all is not lost, the restorers have done a magnificent job and are to be congratulated wholeheartedly and I look forward to the venue’s renaisance.

Mike_Blakemore on February 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

AT LAST…. Found It.. Interior picture of theatre found.. Have done my best I can for clarity..

Tez on January 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

They used to run great Saturday morning Matinees during the Sound of Music run.

I saw the Three Stooges, Old Mother Riley, Norman wisdom and many other classics. Batman cliffhanger series too.

A kids pop band would entertain us at half time. I remember stamping my feet to Bits and Pieces by the Dave Clarke Five. Great memories :–)

bikerpeter on September 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm

bikerpeter here again.

Re Tez contribution. During my time at the Majestic during the run of Sound of Music which was still running at capacity houses at every performance I cannot recall there being Saturday mornings kids shows because we just wouldn’t be able to do so alongside The Sound of Music. Indeed it was very early into the extended run that the box office accountancy was in serious trouble and in consequence inevitable serious deficits. Apart from myself,the other assistant and Lee Prescott the General Manager no one else had a working knowledge of road show advance ticketing which was then quite complex, each and every book of ticket stubs including sold, unsold and half price had to be counted daily and I would guess we were taking advance bookings at least a month ahead of performance dates so chaos was inevitable. The only aid to accountancy we had was an Olivetti hand crank operated adding machine which we bought from the theatre’s 12/6d pw sales deficit allowance. Always drawn but never dipped into because kiosk and ice cream sales were tightly controlled and instead spent in the nearby pub). A pretty useless bit of kit because it was quicker and more accurate to do our sums mentally. No help whatsoever was ever forthcoming from the hierarchy of course, the corporate expression of the day being “The ball’s in your court”, in other words, your problem you sort it. Referring back to the kids matinĂ©es, there couldn’t have been live performances by pop groups simply because there were no stage facilities whatsoever, The huge deeply curved Todd-A-O screen was immediately behind the screen tabs and the stalls balustrade, probably a meter at most, with no room whatsoever for even a raised dais. Not withstanding my recall of the period which I believe is accurate any relevant comment will be appreciated of course.

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