The city’s £3m market hall will be turned into a cinema complex after planning permission was granted.
The scheme is expected to create 100 jobs under a deal which will see Wakefield Council sell the site to the owners of the nearby Trinity Walk shopping centre.
Parts of the Union Street market will be demolished to make way for Trinity Walk Leisure, which will have nine cinema screens, along with restaurants and cafes.
The shopping centre owners, along with real estate firm Sovereign Centros, drew up plans now approved by the council.
Denise Jeffery, the council’s cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, said: “We are delighted that the restaurant and cinema plans are coming to fruition.
“It is an exciting time for Wakefield, as this major new development will support the transformation of the city centre.”
A report to Wakefield Council’s planning committee said the development would boost the city centre economy.
It said: “The investment into the city centre, which would result in the provision of a new cinema and restaurants located in close proximity to the existing shopping provision at Trinity Walk and surrounding areas, will assist in encouraging people to stay, and to visit Wakefield, thereby ensuring the city remains attractive and competitive.”
The market was built in 2008 after being designed by the architect David Adjaye.
The council first announced its intention to sell the site in February 2014, saying it failed to attract enough shoppers and was making a financial loss.
Under the plan some of the current building will be demolished but the new complex will incorporate the majority of its canopy and columns.
Sovereign Centros said its research showed there was a need for a second cinema in Wakefield, which already has a multiplex at Westgate Retail Park.