Cinema in Manchester and the North

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

Looking around town, there’s no escaping it…Christmas has well and truly arrived. We’ll be the first to admit that festive films can be a bit naff, but there are a few gems. From Judy Garland in Vincente Minnelli’s ravishing Technicolor musical Meet Me in St. Louis to Joe Dante’s slyly satirical Gremlins to Billy Wilder’s teaming of Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment, we’ve highlighted some of those films that do Christmas properly.

This is also a bumper time of year for new releases. There’s still time to catch The Irishman on the big screen where it belongs — Martin Scorsese’s wonderful, downbeat mob epic sees him re-team with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, while Al Pacino works with the director for the first time. Noah Baumbach’s screwball dramedy Marriage Story features never better performances from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple going through divorce, while Knives Out is a tightly plotted update on the Agatha Christie brand of murder mystery, and a whole lot of fun.

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 6–8 December 2019, from £5.74

Gremlins at VUE Printworks

When Billy Peltzer is given a fascinating new pet for Christmas, he’s warned of three things: don’t expose him to bright light, don’t get him wet and, most importantly, keep him away from food after midnight.

A character from the Muppet Christmas Carol
Cinema 6 December 2019, 6:30 pm–8:30 pm, from £7

Sing-a-long with The Muppet Christmas Carol

Join The Dukes theatre in the beautiful surroundings of Lancaster Priory for a special sing-along-with screening of Jim Henson’s much loved Christmas classic.

Cinema 8 December 2019, 8:00 pm–10:15 pm, from £5.00

Call Me By Your Name at Cultureplex

In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant.

Cinema 9 December 2019, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm, from £5

Small World Cinema Club: Force Majeure at Cultureplex

Small World Cinema Club hosts an intimate, relaxed one-off screening of Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure.

Cinema 12 February 2020, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm, from £6.90

Videodrome at Showroom, Sheffield

As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn is desperate for new programming to attract viewers. When he happens upon ‘Videodrome’, a TV show dedicated to gratuitous torture and punishment, Max sees a potential hit.

Culture Guides

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North


Top of our list of highlights this month, we’re looking forward to the opening of ‘Vivian Suter’ and ‘Theaster Gates: Amalgam’ at Tate Liverpool.

Family things to do. An art installation at Lightopia.


Check out our latest top picks of family things to do and enjoy some quality time together this autumn.

Jade Montserrat


There are plenty of magical live literature happenings in the run-up to, during and even after the festive season – and lots of book-buying opportunities, perfect for presents for friends and family, or even yourself.


From Irish hip hop to Afrobeat, absurdist punk to post-metal, this month’s music guide is a real melting pot.

Theatre in Manchester


Soaring aerial theatre, unique filmic performance and our pick of the pantos. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and the North. Taking in bars, restaurants and everywhere to go to eat, drink and get merry.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Get outdoors this winter or retreat into the warmth of a workshop with our December guide of Tours and Activities.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 22 November–12 December 2019, from £7.50

Marriage Story at HOME

Cinema 29 November–12 December 2019, from £9

Knives Out at HOME

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

Cinema 15 November–12 December 2019, from £7.5

The Irishman at HOME

Cinema 29 October–12 December 2019, from £3.30

Cities of Seven Hills at Film Unit, Sheffield