Retford Majestic Theatre is a long established theatre based in Retford. Over the years the Majestic has seen a number of changes but one thing has remained throughout and that is the love it has from local people in Retford.
Retford Majestic Theatre first opened its doors in 1927, on the 17th of October and was known as the ‘The New Majestic Theatre’. The theatre had been built for Mr Cyril Getliffe who was also the owner of two other cinemas in Retford. When built the theatre was build specially to take both stage plays and cinema so it had to have all the latest equipment. Two years after the theatre was built the projectors had to be converted to accept sound, as films had all been silent previously.
The theatre was successful for many years, right up until 1943 when the theatre was bought by the Midland Empire Theatres Ltd. They then started showing pantomime, professional, variety, circus and ice shows. Many stars performed at the theatre during its prime. There was a major uproar in Retford when it was decided that the cinema would open on a Sunday to show films.
In 1968 the Majestic was under new ownership again and this time it was converted into a bingo hall but remained able to show films. This carried on until the company that owned the Majestic was forced to close the cinema in 1983, the bingo hall remained open for a further 2 yrs and then sadly this also had to close and the building was empty for the first time since it had opened.
In 1986 the Majestic was opened once again by a brave local business man, who converted the Majestic into a 2 screen cinema much to the delight of Retford people and it opened its doors again. Two years after re-opening the cinema it also started to show live stage shows. Yet again cinema customers started to travel further afield to the new multiplex cinema and so sadly the doors closed again in 1992.
In 1993 The Retford majestic Theatre trust was started, with the hope that they could raise enough money to buy the empty theatre and get it up and running yet again for the people of Retford to enjoy. A year after starting the trust the amateur production of Annie Get Your Gun was shown. Following this another set of volunteers formed the Midland Majestic Company looking to book future shows. Unfortunately this never happened as the theatre was closed once more, this time due to safety reasons although it stayed in the possession of the trust and they continued to raise more money.
In 1996 renovation started by a small team of volunteers. This continued for a few years until eventually the Majestic was able to stage its first show for many years. The Trusts intention was to present a show each month, and this did finally happen in February 1997 with the showing of ‘showmakersz’. All the profits made were used for the restoration fund and work continued on the Theatre in hope that the upper circle would once again be opened.
The work on the theatre carries on when there are no shows on. The trust is very determined to save the theatre for all the Retford people to enjoy for a long time yet.
If you would like to contact the Majestic Theatre you can on 01777 706866
Or you can visit the website on www.majestictheatre.co.uk for a full list of all the shows showing at the moment.