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Feature What's The Future for Majestyk?

Plans are afoot for the landmark city centre building

Feature: What's The Future for Majestyk?

Rushbond Group has submitted plans to Leeds City Council asking for permission to restore Leeds landmark the former Majestyk nightclub, on Leeds City Square, into a music venue and nightclub on the ground floor with a cinema and bingo hall on the floors above.

The grade II listed building has stood empty for the past four years, after Majestyk was forced to close in 2006. Rushbond claims to be in talks with several operators who are interested in being a part of the venue: “Our plans, for a sensitive and high-quality restoration, aim to give the property, which is probably the best leisure venue in Leeds 1, but has lain dormant since 2006, a new lease of life.”

The Majestic building was originally built as a 2,400 person cinema in 1922. It became the Majestic bingo hall in 1969 and then the 3,000 capacity Majestyk nightclub in 1993, which it remained until its closure 13 years later. Rushbond’s plans have the potential to give the historic building back its original leisure facilities, with a new cinema and bingo hall potentially being part of the new-look venue.

While it remains a shame that it has taken almost five years to reach this point, it was back in 2008 that Leeds City Council twice rejected previous plans to turn the landmark building into a Las-Vegas style casino. The plans were rejected on the basis that the renovation failed to add anything to the facilities that are already available in the area.

In their proposal, Rushbond also revealed plans to maximise the natural light of the building by installing new ground-floor and upper-floor windows. They claim removing bricks from some of the outside structure will give the impression of a livelier and lighter building. It would also allow people to look out across City Square. Rushbond said: “They will also give it a wider appeal by extending the leisure offer in Leeds city centre for local people and visitors. If supported, our plans will dramatically enhance the building’s appearance and visual impact upon City Square and Wellington Street and create a positive new vitality in the area.”

The Majestic building clearly has a unique location, being a key part of City Square. And evidently there is plenty of support and love for the building; there is even a ‘Bring Back Majestyk Nightclub’ Facebook group.

Whether or not Leeds needs another nightspot to add to our already neon streets - or if the city could do with some slightly more ‘wholesome’ fun - is certainly up for debate. But whatever becomes of the venue, here’s hoping it once again becomes an asset to the city that the splendour of the building so truly deserves.

What would you like to see happen to Majestyk? Should it be a cinema? Club? Massive restaurant? Send us an email to editor@leedsguide.co.uk

Posted on Tuesday 11th January 2011
Gemma Feltham

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Comments on Feature: What's The Future for Majestyk?

Comment by Aidan Foster-carter

Posted on Wed 19th Jan 11 5:59 pm

A live music venue. Enough nightclubs already!

Comment by Gillian Patton

Posted on Thu 20th Jan 11 12:19 pm

I’d be happy for it to be a cinema again.  I used to go when I was little (I saw ‘the Sound of Music’ there). A live music venue would also be acceptable as Leeds has very little of this.  A restaurant/bar for cinema/music goers would also be nice.  Definitely not a nightclub!

Comment by Kal Sutcliffe

Posted on Thu 20th Jan 11 1:38 pm

I think it should be a number of small independent shops. Possibly a variety of small unique eateries offering different types of foods and beverages. Some boutique shops and craft shops where people can make things or get involved.

Comment by Nadia Ali

Posted on Thu 20th Jan 11 3:32 pm

A bingo hall?!?!?! Leeds isn’t a retirement village although the council seems to be doing pretty well bringing the tone down! Leeds really needs to something to boost it’s image as one of the top cities in the country and a live music venue would be great. The boutique shops idea is great too and the foody place with some nice places to drink without the riff raff. Let’s make it sexy and stylish and make the city great! Start giving Manchester a run for it’s money…

Comment by Simon Goldblum

Posted on Wed 2nd Feb 11 9:31 am

A reader has written in with this comment:

“i feel that it would be a very good idea to turn it into an indoor ice rink. I realise that we have the ice cube at the beginning of the year but i think it would be nice to have one all year round and it would be a great form of exercise and a fun way to encourage children and adults alike to keep healthy. ”

Comment by Rebecca Ryder

Posted on Mon 7th Feb 11 9:19 pm

I was just saying last week that I really wish Leeds had an indoor ice rink. Every time I go to the Ice Cube I realise how much I love it, as does the rest of the city it seems. Every year they’ll queue for hours in the coldest temperatures. So an indoor one would be lovely, and I’m sure very lucrative! A great idea for a venue with real staying power I think. Look at how many people travel all the way to Birmingham to visit theirs.

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