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© Mr Hans Van Lemmen

IoE Number: 465928
Photographer: Mr Hans Van Lemmen
Date Photographed: 09 February 2003
Date listed: 14 June 1993
Date of last amendment: 14 June 1963
Grade II

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LEEDSSE2933SECITY SQUARE714-1/77/110(West side)

LEEDS SE2933SE CITY SQUARE 714-1/77/110 (West side) 14/06/93 Top Rank Bingo Hall GV II Formerly known as: Majestic Cinema CITY SQUARE. Cinema and restaurant, now bingo club. 1921. By Pascal J Steinlet. Built of 'Marmo' terracotta made by the Leeds Fireclay Company of Burmantofts; steeply-pitched slate roof with bull's-eye dormer windows and ridge railing. Corner site with curved entrance facade, 2 storeys with basement and attics, 12-window main facade with central entrance to City Square, 8-window facades with end entrances to left and right returns (Wellington Street and Quebec Street). Entrances have later C20 alterations and brick cladding. Classical 'Beaux Arts' style; decorative motifs include: surface finish in imitation of banded rustication, keyed round-arched windows, Greek key pattern framing recessed panels on returns, modillion eaves cornice, blocking course with raised date 1921 at ends flank triple bull's-eye windows and vase balustrade. Moulded terracotta swags above windows and elaborate panels depicting musical instruments, 1st floor, centre. INTERIOR: most of the very fine internal structure and decoration survives although obscured by cladding, partitions and an inserted ceiling. Features include: basement ballroom and restaurant, rear entrance from Wellington Street into hall with staircase rising to tea lounge and galleried circulation area with open circular well; original flooring, handrails, balustrades; glazed double doors open into the former circle seating; ribbed and panelled dome with Classical frieze of repeated groups of horse riders and chariots (based on the Parthenon), diameter approx 10.4m, dome damaged by rods for inserted ceiling; original decorative features include fluted Ionic columns, moulded cornices and wall panels, pilasters framing doorways, recess for organ, moulded plaques and scrolls to the balcony front, oval wall plaques with Classical figures. The architect used the difficult site well and employed a wide, fan-shaped auditorium with the main entrance at the screen end; the seating capacity was 1,200 in the balcony and 1,600 below, making this one of the 'super-cinemas' built just before and after the First World War. It was contemporary with the Piccadilly Picture Theatre in Manchester and the Regent, Brighton. HISTORICAL NOTE: Steinlet was an established cinema architect who continued to practise until the 1930s. A photograph in the Leeds Fireclay Company Bulletin for March 1931 shows urns and 2 statues on the balustrade and railing with the word 'MAJESTIC' at roof top level, a flag pole behind. Marmo was an imitation marble developed in the early C20 and particularly suited to the plainer architecture of the 1920s and 1930s; other examples in Leeds are Nos 50 & 51 Briggate (qv) and Atlas House, Nos 1 & 3 St Paul's Street (qv), both earlier. The original proprietors were Leeds Picture Playhouses Ltd; Leeds Directory entries for 1922-1927 indicate that Pathe Freres Cinema Ltd were the owners. The cinema opened June 1922 and closed July 1969. (The Leeds Fireclay Company: Bulletin, March 1931 (Kirkstall Abbey Museum); Kelly's Directories of Leeds: 1922-1927; ; Leeds Mercury, 6 June 1922; Yorkshire Post, 2 June 1922: 1922-).

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