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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Mary Mansour: The Club Owner Who Launched Careers


By Priscilla Adum





Mary Mansour

Mary Mansour was a dramatic actress and singer during the Golden Era who owned a club on Emad El Din Street called Sala el-Masreya. She was already a successful club owner when Badia Masabni opened her first nightclub in 1926.

Mary appeared in the very first Egyptian feature film ever made, Laila. She played the role of a nurse.

She was a member of the Yousef Wahbi Theater Troupe.

Both Farid el Atrash and his sister Asmahan worked at Mary Mansour's club early in their careers, before becoming famous. The Egyptian belly dancer Hekmet Fahmy who was convicted of spying for the German's during World War II worked at Mary Mansour's sala as well. These and other artists left to go work at Badia's place when Badia's club became popular and well known.

In addition to owning her own place, Mary co-owned the Bosphore Casino as the business partner of Imtethal Fawzy. This is where Imtethal was murdered in 1936, according to Al Ahram newspaper.

Mary Mansour

This is an advertisement for a talent show competition, where many artists competed. Mary Mansour is the woman in the very top left picture. This advertisement lists her as being a player in the Joseph Wahbi Theater Troupe. Mary Mansour Talent Show Roster

This advertisement promotes a show at Mary Mansour's El Sala El Masreia, which was on Emad el-Din Street in Cairo. See this link for the translation.

Mary Mansour



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About the Translator

Priscilla is a dancer of Lebanese heritage who enjoys researching the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She owns a collection of more than one hundred classic black and white Egyptian films which is continually expanding.

Priscilla has also gathered a large library of dance related articles and clippings from Middle Eastern magazines and newspapers, many of which she has translated from the original Arabic to both English and Spanish.

Priscilla currently resides in Central America where she is a dance instructor. 




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