Not for sale: Mayfair Theatre building listing taken down

A property listing for the building housing the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa has been taken down one day after it sparked an uproar among film fans fretting about the fate of their favourite independent cinema.

The posting from Coldwell Banker Sarazen Realty, which billed the property including the Mayfair and two other tenants at just shy of $3 million, was posted on Aug. 12 and had been up as recently as Wednesday.

The posting caught the Mayfair owners by surprise and precipitated an outpouring of support from numerous Ottawa residents on Wednesday, when the prospective sale caught the attention of news media and social media users.

Read more: Independent cinemas in Toronto and Ottawa sell popcorn, seat naming rights amid COVID-19 shutdown

The listing had presented the Old Ottawa South property as prime for redevelopment or for gutting, with an opportunity for new businesses to call the site home.

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This wording rubbed some dedicated fans of the Mayfair the wrong way, with many noting the theatre, constructed in 1932, was covered by a heritage designation that would complicate attempts to redevelop it.

Josh Stafford, one of the ownership partners at the Mayfair, told Global News in an email Thursday that the theatre’s team received a call Wednesday afternoon informing them that the ad would be taken down.

They were told the ad was only posted to “evaluate” the building, which Stafford said struck the partners as “strange.”

“So, for the time being we seem to be safe again,” he said in the email.

Global News has reached out to Coldwell Banker Sarazen Realty and the original listing agent for comment on Thursday but has not heard back.

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