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Curzon Mayfair
Photograph: Curzon

Exclusive: Curzon Mayfair’s future in jeopardy amidst massive development plans

A new £15 million cinema is planned for the building

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

London’s historic Curzon Mayfair cinema will close when its lease expires in March 2024.

A cloud has hung over the 89-year-old Curzon Mayfair for some time, with its lease coming to an end and uncertainty about its renewal casting its future in doubt.

Time Out has learnt that, subject to planning permission, the building’s landlords are planning to refurbish, relaunch and manage their own cinema in the building, returning the two-screen venue to its original one-screen form. 

The landlords, 38 Curzon Lease Ltd, who oversaw the redevelopment of Bank’s The Ned hotel and Camden’s Koko, are investing £15 million in the project. 

‘We are passionate about preserving this unique building, with the cinema at its heart,’ says Dan Zaum, managing director of landlord-developers 38 Curzon Lease Ltd. ‘We will bring the Mayfair Cinema back to life, restoring its beautiful original features and giving it the very latest technology.’

‘I see the Mayfair Cinema being reinstated to its former glory and reinventing the art of cinema-going,’ Zaum tells Time Out. ‘This iconic piece of architecture and integral part of London’s cinematic history is yearning for revival.’

The developers are promising ‘a vibrant venue serving the wider community’ that ‘will always have film at its heart’. Also on the plans are a new bar and a dine-in restaurant, plus food to take into the screen with you. 

‘There will be a wide range of ticket prices, ensuring that no-one feels this beautiful cinema is beyond their budget. The new Mayfair Cinema will offer everything from a full evening out, to simply “catching a film”.’

For its part, the existing tenant, Curzon, hasn’t given up hope of keeping the Curzon Mayfair operational. 

‘We are resolved to engage constructively with the landlord to find an amicable solution over the lease of the venue,’ says Curzon in a statement. ‘Curzon Mayfair is one of London’s most loved cinemas and has been an integral part of the local community since it first opened its doors in 1934. The agreement of a new long-term lease will give us the certainty to make a substantial investment in the building as part of a major refurbishment programme.’

‘We have the support of the local community, with more than 10,000 people signing our petition and backing from prominent figures across the film industryOnly two weeks ago we welcomed Steven Spielberg for the premiere of his film “The Fablemans”.’

‘We believe only Curzon, with its unique place within the film industry, can continue the distinctive cinema programme and thriving events provision which constitutes the rich history of Curzon Mayfair.’

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