Cinema in Manchester and the North

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

We’re also on the cusp of that most wonderful time of the year, and cinema programmers have been reaching for those Christmas classics. For something different this year, why not try some festive favourites from the comfort of the pool at Victoria Baths? Or perhaps Make A Scene’s bonkers, way-too-interactive screening of Gremlins is more your speed? There’s always It’s a Wonderful Life, which has multiple showings across Manchester.

For their Christmas season, HOME eschew the tinsel altogether, reasoning that the spirit of Christmas is found in family and friends. With that in mind, they’ve gathered a crowd-pleasing selection of ’80s hits that make for perfect group viewing. HOME is also the place to go for the latest releases, and we’ve got reviews of Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Steve McQueen’s Widows and David Lowery’s The Old Man and the Gun.

Here are our picks

More in Cinema

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 9 November–13 December 2018, from £5

Widows at HOME

Inspired by Lynda LaPlante’s 1980s TV series of the same name, Steve McQueens Widows is a modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption.

Cinema 12 December 2018, FREE

Ciné Club at Alliance Française

Where would any french speaking cultural institute be without a film club? Alliance Française creates a small cinema for people to watch a wide selection of French films with English subtitles.

Cinema 12 December 2018, from £5

Modern Times at HOME

Subjected to the infernal production rate of the factory, a model worker suddenly has a nervous breakdown and goes mad in Chaplin’s celebrated look at 20th century productivity.

Cinema 12 December 2018, from £6

Grimmfest presents: Krampus at Manchester Central Library

It’s Christmas, Grimmfest style, as the horror movie specialists present alt-festive fave, Krampus. 

Activity 13 December 2018, FREE

Festive cinema: It’s A Wonderful Life at the People’s History Museum

Join the People’s History Museum for a festive screening of It’s A Wonderful Life, an iconic story of Christmas cheer and solidarity. Cinema snacks and treats available to buy from The Left Bank cafe bar on the night, including popcorn.

Cinema 14–23 December 2018, from £5.00

It’s A Wonderful Life at HOME

This ultimate feel-good, festive favourite, from Oscar-winning director Frank Capra, stars James Stewart as despairing businessmen George Bailey.

Cinema 14 December 2018, from £5

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? + Intro at HOME

A tale of a man, a woman and a rabbit in a triangle of trouble. When toon-hating detective Eddie Valiant is hired to investigate a scandal, it quickly escalates and he becomes the only person who can prove that Roger Rabbit is innocent of murder.

Cinema 15–16 December 2018, from £17.50

The Hallé – The Snowman at The Bridgewater Hall

Performing Howard Blake’s wonderful score, the Hallé will provide a live accompaniment for a screening of Raymond Briggs’ animated classic, The Snowman.

Culture Guides

Ren Hang: Wake Up Together at Open Eye Gallery


Tubism, pottery, same-sex intimacy and art education; this month’s Exhibitions Guide has it all. (Even a tentative mention of Christmas.)


Luminous adventures, festive fixes, Drag Queen Storytime and New Year’s Eve parties with nippers to book now for … look no further for the best things to do with kids.

Poet Nia Davies at No Matter #4.


December sees some great events lined up for those readers who have been good this year – read on to find out about the live literature gifts we have wrapped up for you, and find out where to buy some Christmas presents of your own…


This month’s music guide features some of the most exciting underground artists from around the world, as well as homegrown Manchester talent.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Contemporary circus, slapstick comedy, burlesque and immersive dining. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Tours and Activities

This month we are highlighting some of the top multilingual tours and activities Manchester has to offer.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 7–20 December 2018, from £5.50

The Old Man & the Gun at HOME

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

Cinema 2 November–13 December 2018, from £5

Peterloo at HOME

Cinema 3 November–18 December 2018, from £6.8

Comedy Genius at Showroom, Sheffield

Cinema 9 November–13 December 2018, from £5

Widows at HOME

Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Documentary Challenge at IWM North