Majestic Cinema, Sevenoaks.

A 1945 photograph of the Majestic Cinema, Sevenoaks.

Majestic Cinema,

London Road,

Sevenoaks, TN13 1ZZ


Owners: Majestic (Sevenoaks) Ltd, operated by Cohen and Rafer.

Architect: George Coles.

Building contractors:  James Watts (Catford) Ltd.

Seating Capacity: 1600.

Date opened: August 22nd 1936.

Opened by:  Paymaster Rear Admiral HMC Elliot.

First General Manager:  R.V. Brown.

Date opened: Saturday August 22nd 1936.

First film shown: “When Knights Were Bold”, starring Jack Buchanan and Fay Wray.

Present use:  Extant.



The Majestic, London Road in Sevenoaks, Kent opened for business on Saturday August 22nd 1936.

Royal Crown Hotel


It was built on part of a site that once occupied The Royal Crown Hotel. It was designed by notable architect George Coles for Majestic (Sevenoaks) Ltd, run by Cohen and Rafer. Seating was in pink plush. There were 1600 seats, 500 of them in the circle.

The opening was conducted by Paymaster Rear Admiral HMC Elliot. The opening feature was “When Knights Were Bold” and “Koenigsmark”. Also screened was a film showing the construction of the cinema and a newsreel. A reception was held in the café after the show


The first film at the Majestic.


The first general manager was a Mr RV Brown. The cinema donated a cheque for twenty- five guineas to hospital funds.

The building constructed by James Watts (Catford) Ltd, housed a cafe, like many others from that period. It was said that there was no attempt to strive after ultra-modernism in the design of the exterior. It was built in harmony with the town’s general architectural trend.

Multi coloured brick and artificial stone facings provided a warm tone. There were three semi-circular leaded windows above the canopy with the name below the main cornice. The windows gave light to the large café at the balcony level.

The canopy extended over the main entrance and was lit on the underside with neon lighting in red and green, with floods above for the illumination of the upper part of the front. The Majestic sign was blue.

The entrance hall was large and extended across the whole width of the front, apart from space occupied by the box office. It was paved with a mosaic design, with the centre coloured blue with red surrounds. The same treatment was also used on the broad stairway, which led to the balcony and café. The walls were decorated in delicate shades of rose and beige, with bright green horizontal bands, which served to carry still frames and other publicity matter.

The paybox was fitted with an electrically operated automaticket model K. Entrance to the stalls was by two doors each side of the centre flight of steps.

Seating in the auditorium was supplied by Pathe equipment. The colour inside the auditorium was a general tone of rose. Seating was also in rose.

Up in the projection room were two Ross projectors with the RCA sound system.

In 1943 it was taken over by Odeon and renamed Odeon on the 7th July 1945.

Rebranded as an Odeon Cinema.

1950s photograph taken from the stage.

Rank tripled it in 1972, their second theatre to be given this treatment. It re-opened on the 24th December 1972 with 457 seats in the former circle and two screens in the former rear stalls, seating 102 and 106. Two new projection rooms were constructed downstairs Brent Walker came on the scene and ran it from the 26th October 1975 and another name change took place, this time to Focus.

Yet another operator took control from the 31st October 1982. This time Ace cinemas ran the show This was a short-lived affair and Ace 1 closed as a full-time cinema on 28th September 1983. It was then converted into live theatre. This opened 18th December 1983 in a temporary form before a long conversion period. Films were still shown periodically. The two cinemas below continued to show films for a number of years and were known as Ace 1 and 2.

The council took control and it became the Stag theatre, using the upstairs screen for live shows. A refurbishment took place in 1992 and the Plaza suite was added. The two downstairs cinemas were named Majestic 1 and 2. The café area was named The Carlton. 2004 the theatre became the Playhouse Theatre.

The Playhouse was closed on 7th July 2006 but opened again two months later under new management Kino Cinema, Hawkhurst. In February 2007 they were given a twenty-five year lease and once again it became the Stag Theatre. The cinemas became the Kino.

It closed in 2008, reopening in 2009.

A recent photograph of the entrance foyer of The Stag, Sevenoaks.

David A Ellis©