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Majestic Theatre Goes Under The Hammer

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The Majestic Theatre partly demolished

The Majestic Theatre located on Jalan Chamberlain is being demolished.

The interior of the theatre

Ipoh Echo was alerted of the demolition work on Monday by a caller who complained that the notice board notifying of work being done was absent adding that the safety requirements, boarded up barriers and such was not adhered to.

Notice board and barriers to cordon off the work area are missing

A subsequent visit to the site confirmed the callers concerns. At the same time MBI Officers from the Buildings Department had coincidentally arrived onsite and called on the contractor to immediately stop work explaining that a ‘license for demolition work had not been applied for”.

MBI officers inspecting the site and informing the contractor to stop work.

A call to Encik Syahril Muhammad, MBI’s Assistant Director of the Buildings Department, confirmed that that the license to demolish had not been issued.

Syahril explained that the full details of the demolition work had to be furnished before approval was granted while commencing demolition work without first obtaining approval will be subject to a fine.

The Majestic Theatre was built in the late 1940’s and screened Chinese movies until the 80’s after which it screened multi lingual movies. It closed down in 1998.

The design of the theatre is described as ‘Art Déco’ and is one of several art déco theatres dotted around Ipoh Town all of which were designed by Danish architect BM Iversen. The other art déco theatres are the Lido, Cathay and Rex theatres.

According to Mohd Taib, the Chairman of the Perak Heritage Society the Majestic Theatre is not a heritage building but has been ‘identified’  as one of 140 buildings by MBI listed in the 2005 Heritage Act to be gazetted for preservation.

JAG

7 thoughts on “Majestic Theatre Goes Under The Hammer

  1. Thank you dr.gwyn for your kind words. I know that badly maintained buildings must go – there is no hope for them, but sadly all too many buildings in Ipoh (not just my father’s) have been sadly neglected and are now beyond redemption. I had to vent my anger to defend my wonderful father’s memory.

  2. As stated, the Majestic Theatre is gazetted for preservation by Ipoh City Council. As such, who is now responsible for demolishing the 1940’s theatre? Is the Chief Minister of Perak aware of this uncalled tearing down of this old buildings? What has the DAP and PAS got to say of this demolishing of this theatre? Don’t just wait for elections, exhibit some commitment!

  3. Unfortunately, Ruth, not many members of the public are keen or care two hoots about what those 140 buildings are, which is really a shame. Many do not even know that such a list exists. Due to this unfortunate demolition, perhaps it should be made known. In this case, since the demolition was done without MBI’s approval, the owner should be slapped a heavy fine so that others would think twice before demolishing buildings on the quiet or at their whim and fancy. It has happened much too often and something needs to be done to save what is left of our heritage before the last one, too, is gone!

  4. Ruth I am so saddened to read your frustration of peoples obnoxious comments regarding your father. His generation of architects were perhaps the last who truly knew the meaning of the profession. If we could achieve just half the quality of thinking, aesthetics and respect of the profession today we would be living in a far better world than we are. I too am saddened that such nobel edifices disappear – to walk around them, to read the drawings, to study the lines, is a totally enriching experience. Can we say that of todays architecture – occasionally yes, but not often.

  5. Would somebody from the City Council like to advise just how many of the 140 listed buildings have actually been gazetted please. We, the citizens of Ipoh would like to know.

  6. According to Mohd Taib, the Chairman of the Perak Heritage Society the Majestic Theatre is not a heritage building but has been ‘identified’ as one of 140 buildings by MBI listed in the 2005 Heritage Act to be gazetted for preservation. See above. Does that not mean anything?

  7. Another B M Iversen building bites the dust – soon there will be nothing left to come to Ipoh for. I realise that cinemas are no longer viable – but it is just tragic. Please do not come up with unpleasant comments about my father as before (some of them were obnoxious) he did all he could to beautify Ipoh and he succeeded and does not deserve the ugly comments some of your readers wrote. He loved Malaysia and worked so hard.

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