A Film Lover’s Guide to the Best Cinemas in Manchester
Nothing quite matches a trip to the cinema: From art house classics to the latest blockbusters, Manchester has enough screens to cater to every taste. We've rounded up the very best in the city.
When Oxford Road’s legendary Cornerhouse closed its doors, many feared that its replacement HOME wouldn’t live up to the standards set by its predecessor, but the £25 million development has exceeded expectations. With two theatres, three galleries and five purpose-built cinema screens, HOME is an arts space for the 21st Century. Complementing this is a spacious café bar and a first floor restaurant with a diverse menu ranging from the haughty Melanzana Parmigiana to the humble beef burger. They screen a mixture of mainstream, independent and foreign-language films and even play host to a number of festivals: Recent offerings include the ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival and the Manchester Animation Festival. They don’t do popcorn though, which might not appeal to some, but is definitely in keeping with the refined cinema experience they provide.
2 Tony Wilson Place, First Street, Manchester M15 4FN http://homemcr.org/
R.A.D. Film Screenings at Gorilla
R.A.D. Film screenings take place at archway bar and venue Gorilla, also one of the city’s most exciting live gig destinations . R.A.D. - which aptly stands for Retro and Dangerous - is an offshoot Grimm Up North, the group who run Manchester’s annual Grimmfest horror film festival,as well as many one-off screenings around the city. As you might expect, their R.A.D. nights specialise in cult and horror film screenings with Grindhouse-style double bills. In the past they’ve paired Hocus Pocus with Beetlejuice and The Addams Family with The Burbs. Hankering for a classic slice of nostalgia? This is the one for you.
54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW
Botanical Cinema Club at Blackdog Ballroom NWS
Another monthly event, this time at Black Dog Ballroom’s outpost on New Wakefield Street. Each month, they serve up a mystery film and screen it for free on a Wednesday night. Bean bags are laid out in their gig room upstairs for these secret screenings. Moviegoers are encouraged to partake in a selection of themed cocktails with names like ‘The Walk of Fame’ and ‘The Nickelodeon’ - rude not to, given the gratis entry fee. The venue also boasts a speakeasy-style diner, a BBQ terrace and a pool room, so there’s plenty to enjoy aside from whatever they’re screening on any given month.
11 - 13 New Wakefield Street, Manchester M1 5NP
The Odeon cinema is set across four floors in Shudehill’s bar-restaurant complex The Printworks. With 20 screens, it narrowly beats the AMC to be Manchester’s biggest cinema. As one of only a handful of cinemas in the region with an IMAX screen, it’s the only place in Central Manchester you can really get the most out of blockbuster 70mm and 3D screenings. It’s a high quality modern multiplex conveniently located both for public transport and for shopping - sandwiched between Shudehill tram stop and the Arndale centre. It also offers the best range of cinema confectionary of all the cinemas in this list, with a dedicated Ben & Jerry’s stand.
The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS
The decor of the AMC has seen better days, but what it lacks in panache it makes up for in a classic cinema experience: They show all the latest releases on good screens at a reasonable price. The AMC’s big advantage is that it’s slap bang in the middle of the Great Northern warehouse complex with its exciting new restaurants such as Almost Famous and Home Sweet Home, and the Manchester235 casino, which itself boasts celebrity chef James Martin’s latest eatery. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the bars and clubs of Deansgate and Castlefield, so it really is perfect choice to kick off a night out.
The Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
The Savoy Cinema
Renovated and reopened in October 2015, a team of enthusiasts have breathed life back into this traditional 1920s cinema building in Heaton Moor, South Manchester. The frontage has been restored to its charleston era glory, but the inside has been modernised with contemporary furnishings and air conditioning. Screenings include new releases alongside some special showings, all of which can be enjoyed in normal cinema-style seating or - to experience your film at a level of class the venue demands - you can slide into luxury seating for a little extra.
Heaton Moor Road, Stockport SK4 4HY
By Jon Whiteley for Manchester Wire
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Ruth has been writing about Manchester's cultural scene for the last 10 years, specialising in off-the-beaten track destinations and hidden gems. She's the editor of Manchester's award-winning what's on guide.