Building Name

The Mayfair Cinema Bury Old Road Whitefield

1941 - 1947
Bury Old Road
Whitefield, Manchester
GMCA, England
New build

The first Mayfair cinema opened alongside the earlier Palace Cinema which closed immediately before the new building opened on January 6, 1936. It was designed by Alister G 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 duly opened in 1947, 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 the 1980's. 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.