A DATE has been set to bring an iconic Art Deco building back to life for the next generation.
The former Majestic Cinema on Darlington’s Bondgate has been undergoing extensive renovation since January when North-East property developer Devlin Hunter bought the building.
As previously revealed in The Northern Echo, the venue is set to become the region’s largest children’s soft play facility and an opening date of September 20 has now been announced.
The facility has been branded Magic and Mayhem Soft Play and there are a series of events planned for the open day, which starts at 10am.
These include appearances by monkey mascots, face-painting, balloons and other attractions due to be confirmed.
Bookings for children’s parties – dubbed the Monkey Jungle Party – are also being taken from September 22.
The news of the Magic and Mayhem Soft Play opening has been met with a positive response from users of social media, with the announcement attracting many comments on facebook praising the new look of the building and expressing excitement about the new business venture.
There are also future plans to pay homage to the building’s past by transforming the upper floors into a live performance theatre and restaurant by 2015.
And another part of Darlington’s history will also live on in the building as around 300 seats from the much-loved Darlington Arts Centre will be installed in the venue after developers struck a favourable purchase deal with the council.
The grand opening marks the end of the transformation of the building which dates back to the 1930s.
It opened in 1932 as a Majestic Cinema before being bought by the Odeon and renamed accordingly in 1945.
In an attempt to modernise the building, large metal girders were erected over its facade in the 1950s but these have now been stripped away to reveal its original art deco features for the first time in decades.
In later years the venue became a snooker club, more recently as a Riley’s club before the company went into administration in November 2012.
It continued to operate as a snooker club until Mr Hunter closed it for refurbishment.