Curzon Mayfair

Source: Curzon

Curzon Mayfair

The landlord of the Curzon Mayfair cinema in London has outlined plans for the future of the 38 Curzon Street building, which would see it remain a cinema, but no longer operated by Curzon.

Dan Zaum, CEO of Jersey-based holding company 38 Curzon Lease, which has previously refurbished The Ned London and Koko Camden, has confirmed the company wants to break away from UK exhibitor-distributor Curzon, owned by the US-based Cohen Media Group, and run a refurbished cinema on the site itself. 

It has pledged to invest £15m of its own money in the cinema.

38 Curzon Lease is declining to renew Curzon’s lease on the building which ends in 2024.

Today (April 24) Curzon warned it is ready to go to court to remain on the site. Under UK government legislation, Curzon has a statutory right to renew its lease on similar terms at a market rent. Curzon has formally applied for a new lease. Screen understands Curzon has offered a significant rent increase, as well as having committed to refurbishment plans.

“We are passionate about creating London’s ultimate cinema experience,” said Zaum. “The Mayfair Cinema will always have film at its heart – and will become a vibrant venue serving the wider community, creatively, socially, educationally and beyond.

“Back in the 1930s when this cinema was first built, elements such as accessibility, affordability and energy efficiency weren’t a concern. We now have the opportunity to consciously upgrade the workings of this venue for the enjoyment of everyone, whilst maintaining the prestige and beauty of its original features and façade. This beautiful venue was once the most iconic and recognisable cinema in London. Our dream is to once again make it a fixture of Mayfair’s culture and a staple of the capital’s entertainment scene.”


An exhibition was held on the future of the Grade II-listed building over the weekend at London’s Sheraton Hotel on Park Lane. It outlined how the refurbished cinema would look. The plans include an in-house restaurant and bar, with a focus on being a low waste operation, reintroducing natural light to lower energy consumption and using locally sourced produce for the on-site restaurant.

Zaum said 38 Curzon Lease wanted to restore some of the building’s original features but did not confirm whether the cinema would have one or two screens.  

Plans include offering a range of ticket prices, a commitment to showcasing independent and local filmmakers, as well as hosting premieres and cultural events, such as operas.

Curzon Mayfair was the first of the UK Curzon cinemas to open, in 1934. The building was rebuilt in the 1960s. Cohen Media Group acquired the cinema chain in 2019.

Curzon responded to the landlord’s plans with this statement: ”The Curzon Mayfair already features some of the most iconic pieces of British cinema design with its listed wall reliefs by sculptor William Mitchell, sixties art deco-inspired ceiling, and marble bathrooms.

 “We are committed to making a substantial investment with bold plans to complement these unique architectural features with a sensitive but extensive refurbishment of the cinema, which will be ready to go once a new lease is agreed with the landlord. Accessibility, affordability and energy efficiency are all priorities for Curzon, for both its new and older cinemas.

“Renowned Benedetti Architects, who recently worked on redesigning BAFTA’s Piccadilly headquarters, will look at industry-leading solutions to acoustics, lighting, the food and beverage offer, energy efficiency, venue adaptability and enhanced audience appeal to create a gold standard for film premieres in London.

”Our cinema continues to be a prominent fixture of Mayfair’s cultural and entertainment scene. Only last week we hosted the UK premiere of Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy and Focus Features’ Polite Society, and we have hosted more than 20 red-carpet film premieres in the past year.”