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Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • Ottawa South History Project

From the Archives: Mayfair Theatre Opens

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From the Evening Ottawa Citizen Saturday December 3, 1932, a full-page spread entitled “The New Mayfair Theatre Adds Prestige to Ottawa South Business Area”:

Mayfair Theatre Opens Monday Night to “The Blue Danube”

Mayfair_Theatre_plaque_smallSlipping quietly and unostentatiously into the entertainment life of the city, the new Mayfair theatre opens its doors to the public on Monday when the premiere will be thrown on the screen at seven o’clock. At a quarter to the hour the public will be admitted and the first nighters will have a little time to revel in the beauties of Mayfair before becoming absorbed in the screen attractions.

Mayfair is situated at the corner of Bank and Euclid, in Ottawa South, just beyond the bridge. The attractive façade is designed of fancy brick and artificial stone with a large, brilliantly lighted marquee, surmounted by a towering lighted sign of the theatre name.

Lighting the vestibule are stained glass windows depicting Music, Comedy and Tragedy. Between the swinging doors is a large plate glass window which will be used for display purposes. The glass enclosed ticket box is hung with attractive curtains.

Stepping into the foyer one is immediately impressed by the distinction of the surroundings. The plastine walls are tinted in tan, rose and green tones, about a wall base of artificial stone. The ceiling is beautifully decorated in stencilled designs in which palest green predominates. The lighting fixtures are most attractive and the floors in foyer and vestibule are terrazzo.

Fine Retiring Rooms

To the right and left of the foyer, down a few steps are the retiring rooms, gentlemen’s on the left, ladies’ on the right. The ladies room is a gem in rose and gold, done in modern style. Four shades of rose cover the walls, delicately stippled with gold and with gold leaf borders. Where the ceiling slopes to the walls, a striped design in pastel tints gives the effect of height. The powdering glass and table are beautifully illuminated and set against a background of black and gold with fine effect. The toilet room is well appointed and has direct outside ventilation.

A few broad steps, richly carpeted, lead to the theatre proper. The deep soft pile carpet in tones of rose and tan with black, covers all the aisles and the same design is repeated in the comfortable chairs which have tapestry back and leather seats and are most comfortable.

The theatre is built in the stadium style with spacious cross aisle with exist at either end. Below this aisle is the auditorium while behind rises a tier of seats, or the stadium proper. The house is so planned that a perfect view is obtained of the stage and the screen from any one of the 700 seats in the house.

Sound Proof Construction

The interior of the house is lovely. The walls are specially constructed of sound resisting material and beautifully tinted in rose and tan tones with ceiling of dull soft blue. The effect is somewhat of the Spanish type with two wide balconies at each side, hung with rich silk antique velour of the mulberry shade, with gold fringe and mounted with wrought iron spears. The circular lambrequins match. Over the exits at each side of the stage are also narrower balconies attractively hung and surmounted with a monogrammed crest. Quaint oval windows in each side of the rear are lovely mirrors and hanging near the balconies and beneath are wrought iron lanterns of graceful design. The circular ceiling lights are multicoloured.

The proscenium arch is decorated with gold leaf on pale green and its charm is enhanced by the rich draperies of mulberry antique velour appliquéd in gold and gold fringe.

The crystal beaded screen curtain is automatically drawn by electric apparatus and represents the very latest curtain for prefect reflection.

The projection room above the stadium is spacious and with outside ventilation. Installed therein is the very latest equipment which includes vacuum tubes and photo electric cells for perfect sound production, that is, with the minimum background noise.

Fireproof Construction

The theatre is entirely fireproof with four spacious exits in addition to the wide front doors. The building includes three spacious stores fronting on Bank street, in one of which is situated an attractive tea room and in another is an up-to-date news stand.

The first showing featured the film “The Blue Danube” advertised as “A Sensational Picture of a Gay, Carefree Budapest, Haunting Music and a Love Story that will Thrill You” with prices for the matinees of 10 cents for children, 15 for adults and for the evening shows 25 cents for adults and 15 for children.

More information on the history of the Mayfair Theatre can be found on the theatre's website, and at the Ottawa South History Project on this website.

Last modified on Saturday, 25 April 2020 13:31

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