First look inside town’s brand new cinema

PUBLISHED: 15:39 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:49 16 September 2020

A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn. Kathryn Bithray inside one of the new screens.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn. Kathryn Bithray inside one of the new screens. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

A new boutique cinema has been unveiled as part of a £1.6m facelift for King’s Lynn’s Corn Exchange.

A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

It is hoped the venue, which will have two 50-seat screens, will help Lynn’s town centre bounce back from lockdown after it opens on Friday, September 25.

Its first screening will be A Personal History of David Copperfield, which was partly filmed a stone’s throw away on Lynn’s historic waterfront.

Also due on screen during the venue’s first week are Hope Gap, Military Wives, The King and I and The Man in the Hat.

A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn. Corn Exchange Manager Philip Bayfield.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn. Corn Exchange Manager Philip Bayfield. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Brian Long, chair of Alive West Norfolk, which runs the venue, said: “The Corn Exchange is one of the jewels in Lynn’s crown that brings people in to town from all over west Norfolk and beyond.

“The formerly under-used upstairs space has been converted into a two-screen cinema. There will be special screenings for parent and babies, parent and toddlers, silver screenings for over 60-year -olds and family screenings at the weekend. It’s another great reason to come in to town.”

The digital cinema has been built in the space in the upper foyer and front balcony at the Corn Exchange.

A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn. Kathryn Bithray inside one of the new screens.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn. Kathryn Bithray inside one of the new screens. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Elizabeth Nockolds, portfolio holder for culture, heritage and health at West Norfolk council, said: “Alive Corn Exchange has had to close its doors for the last six months but has made good use of that time by completely renovating the building and installing a new two-screen cinema.

“I was pleased to see local businesses, including the Majestic Cinema and King’s Lynn Cinema Club support this development, as they recognise this offers additional entertainment for people coming in to Lynn town centre.”

Social distancing measures will be in place after the opening.

The filming of David Copperfield is taking place at The Purfleet in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe filming of David Copperfield is taking place at The Purfleet in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The glazed roof of the building, on the Tuesday Market Place, has been replaced with zinc panels. Repairs have also been made to its Grade II listed façade.

A new floor has been put in the main foyer, while the ground floor toilets have also been refurbished.

Officials expect the cinema will bring in £200,000 a year. It will be operating for up to 10 hours a day.

The filming of David Copperfield is taking place at The Purfleet in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe filming of David Copperfield is taking place at The Purfleet in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Grade II Listed Corn Exchange was built in 1854. In the mid-1990s, it was given a £4.4m refurb which included a rear extension.


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