Ottawa's Historic Mayfair Theatre Set to Re-Open
Ottawa's historic Mayfair Theatre will re-open on January 2 following its last minute reprieve from certain doom.
The movie theatre had been scheduled to close forever at the end of November, but a public outcry and the intervention of new owners kept the cinema in business.
Ottawa City Council voted in October to give the building that houses the Mayfair heritage designation. This would have required a more difficult process on the part of new owners to make changes or tear down the building.
This provided the opportunity for new owners to step in and revive the cinema. The new owners Lee Demarbre, an Ottawa filmmaker; Ian Driscoll, write and filmmaker; Paul Gordon, a film preservationist; and John Yemen, a film scholar, want the Mayfair to show more independent and classic movies.
They get their chance in a few days. Following a month of renovations and technological improvements, the Mayfair will re-launch with a screening of Metropolis – Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic.
The theatre was built in 1932 and throughout the years has remained an independent, neighbourhood theatre. The Mayfair has a number of unique architectural features that remain from its original interior design. Built as an “atmospheric cinema”, to draw the film-viewer further into the imaginative world on the screen, the design is exotic Mediterranean. Some of the features include faux balconies; balconies with clay-tile canopies; ornate moulding; and medieval wrought-iron lamps.