The Salford Social Democratic Land and Building Society was the owner of Hyndman Hall, the Social-Democratic Federation's headquarters. In 1930 at a special meeting they agreed to add to their Objects a commitment to building or buying a venue "for the exhibition of cinematograph films, plays, dramatic and musical performances, particularly those of interest to the Working Class, or may hire a building for any such purposes..."
Out of this decision came the Manchester and Salford Workers' Film Society, with the first screening in November 1930. The main organiser was Reg Cordwell who was to remain at the centre of operations for the rest of his active life and Ewan MacColl was a founder member
In 1937 the name was shortened to the Manchester and Salford Film Society.