Restoration of heritage buildings in George Town

Majestic Theatre

Boutique property developer 1919 Global Sdn Bhd is set to restore several historical buildings in the UNESCO-listed George Town within the next two years, reported The Business Times.

"Over the next 24 months, we are looking to restore 17 shophouses and a cinema in the UNESCO-listed core zone here," said building owner Jonathan Foo.

The company has recently finished the RM2 million restoration of the 83-year-old Loke Thye Kee building.

In addition, 1919 is targeting to renovate five heritage shophouses in Jalan Penang, a row of 12 shophouses along Jalan Phee Choon, and the former Majestic Theatre (pictured).

According to the company's website, the heritage shophouses are a "unique cluster of five two-storey heritage shop houses, offering high profile commercial shopfronts on the first floor and a collection of boutique homestay suites on the second floor."

Meanwhile, the row of 12 two-storey shophouses is presently dubbed the 'Phee Choon Place'. Upon completion of the renovation, the shophouses will accommodate a number of entertainment and commercial businesses on the ground floor; while the upper floor will feature luxury homestay units.

On the Majestic Theatre, Foo noted that 1919 Global will focus on maintaining the building's heritage attributes and will restore it into a commercial establishment. The building, which was originally built by the late Khoo Sian Ewe, is known among the Chinese as the 'Shanghai Sound Movie Theatre'.

"Currently in the submission phase and once restored, the Majestic Theatre promises to be the prestigious venue for any commercial or corporate venture," noted Foo.

"As a company owning properties in the UNESCO heritage area, we share the same goals as others in wanting to bring back life into George Town's inner city but we need to balance this with projects which are economically viable and businesses which are sustainable."

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