THE finishing touches are being made to a former cinema which is being converted into new homes and shops.

The famous Luxor Cinema building in Station Parade, Lancing, originally opened as a 988-seater cinema in the early 1940s.

The building lay derelict from the 1980s until Shoreham-based Machin Group decided to revitalise it.

It has created 12 art-deco style apartments and studios along with three ground floor shops.

Almost half of the development is already under offer.

Machin Group managing director Will Machin said: “We were confident from the outset that this unusual project would attract interest, not just from the local community but further afield.

“The proof is in the investors we have been able to bring in to support the development and the buyers who are now contacting us almost daily seeking details on the remaining properties and retail units.

“As it is the Luxor’s 79th birthday, it’s wonderful for the community to see one of its landmarks move into a new era and be reassured that it will continue to bring value to the local economy.

“We’re proud to be able to play a part in that.”

The project has been approved as part of the Government’s Help To Buy Scheme.

A number of the luxury apartments will attract first-time buyers.

Mr Machin said: “The first film ever shown at the cinema may have been the Crazy Gang’s Frozen Limits but the only limits set on the development designs were to retain the historic façade, front entrance and Luxor signage.

“That hasn’t prevented the addition of balconies to almost all the properties which provide views over Lancing and the South Downs.”

Plans to convert the Luxor were approved by the planning committee in October 2017.

Machin Group has raised almost £2 million via its subsidiary property investment management company, Machin Investments Ltd.

This has been done by recruiting local investors and banks to back this project and ensure that the site remains a landmark.