152 Upper Tooting Road,
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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: Harold Seymour Scott
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: ABC Tooting
Located in the south London district of Tooting. Designed by architect Harold Seymour Scott for the independent B.H.S. Syndicate Ltd. This was a good example of a suburban movie palace, opening only 5 months after the magnificent nearby Granada Theatre, Tooting.
The Mayfair Cinema opened on 15th February 1932 and was equipped with a Christie 3Manual/10Ranks theatre organ which was opened by Herbert Maxwell. Later resident organists were Jack Courtney and Clifford Birchall. Built for cine-variety the proscenium was 46 feet wide, the stage 20 feet deep and there were nine dressing rooms. It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system. Other amenities were a cafe and a dance hall.
It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in May 1933 and it was re-named ABC in 1963. It was closed for alterations in May 1971 when the rear stalls were converted into a Painted Wagon pub. The cinema was retained using the circle only and this re-opened in July 1971.
It was taken over by an Asian independent operator and the original Mayfair name was re-instated. Regular films continued until it finally closed on 13th January 1979 with Robert Shaw in “Force 10 From Navarone”.
The Painted Wagon pub continues to remain open but the rest of the building was stripped of fixtures and fittings (including the Christie organ). The right hand side of the foyer was converted into a Bank of Baroda in March 1985 and inside the auditorium a concrete floor was built forward from the front of the circle to the rear of the stage wall. The front stalls and stage area was converted into a snooker club while the circle and upper parts of the building were left unused and derelict.
In 1996 the circle foyer was converted into a Muslim cultural centre, using the left hand side of the foyer as an entrance, and later the upper parts of the building and dressing rooms were converted into a Muslim based school.
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