Cinema in Manchester and the North

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

Music fans are used to spending the summer months at festivals, dancing in a field, drink in hand. But given the June weather this year, they might be better advised to take a trip to the cinema, where Manchester and Liverpool’s premier arthouses have scheduled film seasons that survey the overlap between movies and music.

At HOME in Manchester, Sound and Vision: Pop Stars on Film looks at audio icons who have made their mark on screen. The season ranges from Elvis Presley’s long-running parallel career, to Mick Jagger’s striking turn in Performance, to Prince’s iconic star vehicle Purple Rain. There are rarities and unexpected twists — Mariah Carey in Precious anyone? — as well as multiple slots for the ever intriguing Debbie Harry and David Bowie.

In Liverpool, FACT bring festival season indoors, with a selection of music films that showcase the power and significance of live performance. The programme ranges across concert films, documentaries and narrative features, bringing crucial figures and moments in popular musical culture to the big screen.

Back in Manchester, we’re treated to a spanking new documentary cinema as Now Showing Club launches at Old Bank Residency. Screening the best of specialty distributor Dogwoof’s back catalogue, audiences can experience some of the world’s premier non-fiction films in an intimate 16-seater venue. Make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.

Here are our picks

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Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Documentary Challenge at IWM North

Make and feature in your own mini-documentary at IWM North.

Cinema 6 July 2019, from £5.50

MIF19: David Lynch Shorts Programme at HOME

Incorporating Lynch’s earliest forays into filmmaking, this selection of shorter works illustrates the director’s restless creativity, the breadth of his imagination and his ability to unsettle.

Cinema 7 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Twin Peaks S3 ep 1 & 2 at HOME

More than a quarter of a century after its debut, series three of David Lynch’s show is just as baffling, mystical and occasionally deranged… only now there’s a new crime to solve.

Cinema 7 July 2019, FREE

MIF19: Twin Peaks S3 ep 8 at HOME

In a brave and groundbreaking hour of television, Lynch takes the viewer on an incredible journey. Guaranteed to blow your mind.

Cinema 7 July 2019, from £5.50

MIF19: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me + Introduction at HOME

Reviled on release, this film set in Deer Meadow, an alternate and hellish Twin Peaks, has undergone a huge critical reappraisal and is now seen as one of Lynch’s most satisfying if complex works.

Cinema 13 July 2019,

MIF19: David Lynch: The Art Life at HOME

Illuminating Lynch’s own art, music and films while shining a light on his unique world and journey from small-town America to art school in Philadelphia, this documentary offers audiences a greater understanding of both the man and the artist.

Cinema 13 July 2019,

MIF19: David Lynch: The Power of Transcendental Meditation at HOME

“When I had my first meditation, this inner bliss revealed itself so powerfully – thick happiness came rushing in. And I said, ‘This is it.’ There it was. And everything just got better and better.” David Lynch

Cinema 14 July 2019,

MIF19: Meditation, Creativity, Peace + Introduction at HOME

This screening will be introduced by David Hughes, who has been teaching Transcendental Meditation for 40 years and has written many articles on the subject.

Cinema 14 July 2019, from £5.50

MIF19: The Elephant Man at HOME

Lynch’s monochrome homage to 19th-century urban gothic tells the tale of Joseph Merrick, exhibited as a ‘freak’ in Victorian London.

Culture Guides


Like the 58th Venice Biennale which opened earlier this May, our latest pick of exhibitions across the north also has a strong ecological bent.

Quays Culture Summer Festival


We can almost smell the summer and have sniffed out the best family things to do in Manchester and across the North.

Poet Rebecca Tamás at That's What She Said.


We’re in full festival swing with MIF’s first focus on live literature, and plenty of poetry and prose cropping up in the ‘burbs.


Some of the world’s most exciting producers are heading to Manchester and the north in the coming months. Read about them here.

Theatre in Manchester


Packed with experimental festival performances, an award-winning musical, feisty standup comedy and much more…it’s our new theatre guide.


Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Try something different in May with our round up of the month’s alternative Tours and Activities in Manchester.

Things to do right now

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Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Documentary Challenge at IWM North

Cinema 1 January–31 December 2019, from £5.50

Celebrating Women in Global Cinema at HOME

Little Moreton Hall
Activity 3 May–3 November 2019, FREE

Summer 2019 at Little Moreton Hall

Incoming Festival 2019 at HOME
Festivals 23–29 June 2019, from £5.00

Incoming Festival 2019 at HOME