Mayfair Cinema

Bury Old Road and Conway Avenue,
Whitefield, M45 7AY

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Tatton Cinemas (Gatley) Ltd.

Architects: Francis Edison Drury, Joseph G. Gomersall, Alister Gladstone MacDonald

Firms: Drury & Gomersall

Previous Names: Mayfair Major & Mayfair Minor

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Mayfair Cinema

The first Mayfair opened alongside the earlier Palace Cinema which closed immediately before the new building opened on January 6, 1936. It was designed by Alister Gladstone MacDonald the son of Ramsey MacDonald (British Prime Minister).

However it was totally destroyed by fire in April 1941 and the Palace Cinema was hurriedly reopened until a replacement could be built.

This replacement opened on 5th June 1956 , designed by Drury & Gomersall. It had a rather long auditorium, large screen and the balcony barely overhung the stalls (being positioned mainly above the foyer).

It became part of the Tatton Cinema circuit and they twinned the building during 1974 & 1976. This was done in an unusual way and resulted in a better cinema than the original.

A wall was thrown up across the width of the cinema about halfway down the stalls. At the former screen end of the building a new proscenium and screen was constructed twisted 90 degrees from the original and the walls were rounded off to give an oval cinema. This became the Mayfair Minor.

The Mayfair Major used the rear stalls and the existing balcony with a new proscenium and screen to make a most attractive two tier theatre.

Apollo Leisure took over the Tatton Circuit in 1992 and the Mayfair Cinema was closed on 29th September 1994..

It later became a children’s nursery (Major) and Indian restaurant (Minor). In its last years, the entire complex became a furniture store. The former cinema was torn down in 2003 and a block of flats now occupy the site.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

SteveLynch on April 12, 2003 at 10:53 pm

The Mayfair Has been demolished and work has commenced on building yet more FLATS!!!!

A note to our American cousins – local government in the UK is funded largely though a local taxation called Council Tax which is levied on the basis of the value of domestic properties. Hence the almost obscene haste in which council’s grant planing permission for domestic property, particularly flats. Also new built properties are worth more in revenue.

Ian on April 28, 2006 at 11:20 am

Photo of the demolition here :

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This show the balcony remains being ripped out – note the lack of seating under the balcony area.

Ian on August 19, 2007 at 3:54 pm

Two vintage photos of the Mayfair – when it was single screen cinema – here:–

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Ian on December 22, 2007 at 7:41 pm

A series of photos (interior and exterior) taken in 1988 here, whilst it was still operating as a cinema:–

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Mayfair Major
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Mayfair Minor
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Ian on June 27, 2023 at 3:48 pm

The cinema did not open in 1947, I have recently learned, but on the 5th June 1956 according to a newspaper report, supported by the 1954 Kinematograph Yearbook which lists as open, the Mayfair Junior (former Palace Cinema) which had been reopened following the original Mayfair’s destruction by fire in 1941. Rebuilding under wartime restrictions would probably not have been achievable by 1947. It closed (according to the same report) on 29th September 1994, having been twinned seemingly between 1974 and 1976.

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