Cinema screen plan for King's Lynn Corn Exchange
A two-screen cinema has been proposed for the upper bar area of the Lynn Corn Exchange.
Plans to fund the new screens at the Grade II-listed building would cost somewhere in the region of £1 million.
Proposals had been considered to create a small theatre space in the upper bar in 2011, but this was not followed up due to capital cost and limited impact on revenue budgets.
West Norfolk Council cabinet members backed the cinema screens on Wednesday as a means of added income not just to the Corn Exchange, but for the local town economy as a whole.
The plan includes a lift so the screens would be accessible for everyone and would prevent cinemagoers from having to travel as far as Ely or Wisbech instead.
If the screens were introduced, the council believe this would increase the number of showings available in Lynn and help to reduce overlapping.
Richard Blunt said: “This plan would be an excellent use of the Corn Exchange. Not only would it bring extra footfall to the building, it would also bring extra footfall to the centre of town.”
But the council did note that plans to increase the Majestic’s Cinema’s screens in Lynn have not proceeded in the past, however there are calls to try to do so again.
Despite this note of caution, the council were unanimous in their support of the Corn Exchange’s development.
Council leader, Brian Long, added: “If I drop my son off at the cinema, I do not want to do so in a town miles away.
“While my wife and I wait for our son, we are actually spending money on the local economy in coffee shops, cafés etc.”
The venue currently has a theatre auditorium and an upstairs coffee house, but the council believe the space can be used better.
Mr Long continued: “We need to get the most from our assets, and this is a primary example of a building that is just not being utilised.
“It is being heated and lighted most of the time, but it is not actually being used.”
Kathy Mellish added: “Everybody benefits from this idea. Not only will the council benefit from it, but residents and tourists will too.”