Cinema in Manchester and the North

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

Cinemas are scheduled to open this month (pending government announcement) and we can’t wait to bask in the flicker of the big screen once again. Streaming options have proliferated in recent times and we’ve been grateful for the chance to watch from home over the past year, but as an experience, it’s hard to beat the darkness, the lack of distractions, the pristine sound and the giant, dwarfing image provided by a real cinema.

There’s a backlog of new films scheduled to make their big screen debut too. Some, such as award-winners Minari and Nomadland have already been made available to stream, but will be available to see in their proper proportions for the first time. Other titles such as Kelly Reichardt’s quietly stunning pioneer drama First Cow and Billy Piper’s acclaimed Rare Beasts have been held back until now, waiting until audiences can see them as the filmmakers intended.

At HOME this month, expect a mix of these new releases alongside a post-lockdown season dedicated to films about films: ‘The Reverse Gaze: Filmmaking on Screen’. Scheduled to welcome back cinemagoers, this curated programme combines some recent hits with gems from legendary filmmakers such as François Truffaut and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, in order to highlight the artistry, struggle, chaos and ego that it takes to get a film to screen.

Also in Manchester, Chapeltown Picture House is a new space from the folk behind foodie faves GRUB. They’ve lined up an opening week full of classic films that range from feel good classics like Singin’ in the Rain and a marathon Lord of the Rings event, to a 4K double bill of cult horror flicks Demons and Demons II. Keep your eyes peeled as more venues start to announce their opening dates and programmes.

Of course, outdoor venues are up and running already. The Luna Cinema at Tatton Park is showing some tried and tested classics, while upcoming later in the year, the new Film & Food Fest at Heaton Park is one to mark in your diaries.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Here are our picks

More in Cinema

Cinema Until 30 September 2021, FREE

Make Up – Streaming on BBC iPlayer

Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.

Cinema Until 21 February 2022, FREE

Queer Treatment

To coincide with LGBT History Month, Heart of Glass launches Queer Treatment, a new animated short film by the amazing Amy Pennington. Queer Treatment is inspired by conversations with members of the LGBTQIA+ community and explores connection, identity, representation and celebrating queer icons past and present.

Cinema 17 May 2021, from £5.50

Judas and the Black Messiah at HOME

The story of Fred Hampton, the gifted civil rights leader who rose through the Black Panther party to became chairman of the Chicago chapter, is often missing from history. And even lesser known is the role that petty criminal and FBI informant William O’Neal played in his downfall.

Cinema 17 May 2021, from £5.50

Apples at HOME

Christos Nikou’s wonderful feature debut, written and directed before the COVID-19 pandemic began is a soulful rumination on who we are and what defines us.

Cinema 17 May 2021 8:15 pm, from £5

Ammonite at HOME

A fictionalised account of the life of the 19th century palaeontologist Mary Anning, Kate Winslet plays the pioneering scientist with Ronin as the gentlewoman who falls in love with her while staying in Mary’s beloved Lyme Regis.

Cinema 19 May 2021 6:00 pm, from £5.50

The Human Voice at HOME

Madness and melancholy intersect to thrilling effect as Almodóvar reimagines Jean Cocteau’s short play The Human Voice for an era in which isolation has become a way of life.

Cinema 10 June 2021, from £5.50

Mank at HOME

1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish Citizen Kane.

Cinema 17 June 2021 6:15 pm, from £5.50

Beware of a Holy Whore + Intro at HOME

A cast and crew wait in a Spanish hotel for the arrival of finance, their director and lead actor to begin filming. To fill their time, they partake in series of personal and professional games built upon exploitation and manipulation.

Cinema 18–26 June 2021, from £50.88

Picnic Cinema: Withnail & I at Sleddale Hall

Picnic Cinema is back this September with a series of screenings of Withnail & I at Sleddale Hall aka Crow Crag — the cottage from the cult classic film.

Culture Guides

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North


A floating festival, an LSD-inspired journey across space and time, an exhibition curated by GCHQ – there’s plenty to look forward to this month.

Family Things to do in Manchester


Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Writer and translator Jhumpa Lahiri.


As the land of live literature tentatively opens the door a crack, we have some talks and walks IRL to flag up and a whole host of online dates for your diary this May, a jam-packed month of festival readings, digital book launches and spoken word showcases…


We look ahead to the return of physical gigs, selecting a handful of live shows in May and June, as well as some online concerts to tide us over.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


You’ll find all the best live-streamed shows, online festivals and live outdoor performance in our theatre guide this month.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Dapur Malaysia

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s the March edition of the Food and Drink Guide to Manchester and the North and things are slowly starting to feel more promising. Spring is here, the weather is mostly warming up and in just a few weeks we’ll be allowed to eat and drink outside at venues with outside space.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

The days are getting longer, the sun is shining brighter and the flowers of spring have truly sprung. We’re welcoming in the new season with a guide of Tours and Activities that will inspire you to make, learn and move.

Things to do right now

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