Being an artsy city, we love a good film in Manchester, and there’s plenty of places to kick back and relax with the latest releases. Sometimes, though, it’s the charming, independent cinemas that catch our eye, whether they’re community-run, or simply housed in beautiful heritage buildings, so here’s our run-down of the best independent cinemas in Manchester to catch nostalgic classics and new releases alike.
Cultplex has been serving audiences cult pop culture on the big screen since 2019, and over that short span of time they’ve built a truly special community of film, TV, comedy, gaming and sports fans that come together regularly at the little cinema to relish in the communal experience of nerding out together. Here, the community of local supporters come through the doors for specialist film seasons, including STAB this Halloween, and re-releases of much-loved classics.
📍50 Red Bank, Manchester M4 4HF.
Having taken over the former Corner House independent cinema, HOME has become a hub for arts and culture in Manchester since it arrived in 2015. With a theatre, gallery space and a bar and restaurant, HOME really is a one-stop shop for entertainment in the city, and the cinema screens at the top of the building only add to that. With the film department run by the British Film Institute, HOME operates as one of the most well-known Manchester independent cinemas, often screening independent and older films, as well as student films and Q&A events with directors and writers.
HOME also holds multiple film festivals every year, celebrating particular types of film for those of us who are so inclined, including ¡Viva!, the annual Spanish and Latin American film festival, and FilmFear for horror fans during October. HOME is perhaps the most well-established and set up independent cinema in Manchester, and of course, it helps to have a bar and restaurant in the same building!
📍2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN.
3. Mini Cini at Ducie Street Warehouse
Step into Mini Cini, a 36-seat cinema where pups are more than welcome. Unleash your inner cinephile at Kinofilm Festival’s electrifying KINO SHORTS North West filmmakers event, or IndieFlicks at Ducie Street Warehouse for a night about top-drawer, festival-quality short films from across the globe.
Mini Cini is so very mini that there’s no regular screening guide, just ticketed events that often revolve around particular types of film. The beautiful cinema in historical surroundings is a real gem and a joy to visit, so do if you can. Find upcoming events here.
📍Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP.
4. Savoy Cinema, Heaton Moor
The Savoy is made of a family of film enthusiasts who have rejuvenated four cinemas in small towns with the hope of restoring them to the heart of the community. One of those towns is Heaton Moor, Stockport, and is an independent cinema individually run, playing a selection of live broadcasts of theatre shows and gigs, and new releases. You’ll find Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour next to Barbie, and A Little Life starring James Norton next to A Haunting in Venice – that’s just the kind of cinema it is!
The Savoy also hosts some intriguing Q&A and discussion events, including the very local Manchester Unspun book signing and Q&A with Andy Spinoza and Sacha Lord | 24 Hour Party People. There is generally a massive variety of films screened at this independent cinema, from Disney classics to niche releases such as Killers of the Flower Moon, all of which you can find here.
📍105 Heaton Moor Rd, Heaton Moor, Stockport SK4 4HY.
5. The Block Cinema and Film Club, Wythenshawe
The Block Cinema is an independent cinema in South Manchester, offering a wide range of accessible and affordable films. The cinema is led by volunteers who all share a passion for cinema, and screenings tend to include nostalgic and seasonal offerings, with the likes of The World’s End, Alien, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula playing in the coming weeks.
Screenings are every Thursday, and support from the community has meant the cinema has been able to give back to the community, most recently funding Northenden’s first little library as part of a Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust project, so supporting independent cinemas like this means more than catching a showing of your favourite films.
📍West View Court, W View Rd, Northenden, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 4LQ.
6. Stockport Plaza Cinema
The Plaza is a real Art Deco gem, and is generally the first thing that strikes you when you pull into Stockport, and behind the beautiful facade, the old theatre now partly functions as a heritage independent cinema. Screenings are pretty few and far between, but seeing a film at independent cinemas like this is a real treat, so you’d be wise to see it as a special occasion in Manchester. Upcoming film listings include Back to the Future, The Shining and Oppenheimer, which pretty much sums up what Stockport Plaza is all about, the best new releases next to absolute classics of all genres. You can find film listings here.
📍Mersey Square, Stockport SK1 1SP.
7. Leigh Film Factory
With the mission to provide an affordable, accessible and welcoming space where everyone can enjoy quality cinema experiences, whether for education, business or pleasure, Leigh Film Factory is a real labour of love. Housed in an old textile mill, of which there are plenty in Leigh, this independent cinema is fitted with 112 comfortable IMAX cinema seats, and screens seasonal, new and old films catered to its audience.
Some of the listings to come include See How They Run, Asteroid City and Saint Maud, and the screening of Matilda is operating a ‘Pay As You Feel‘ structure to ensure maximum accessibility for the local community. This is one of the independent cinemas that also runns a children’s ‘Book To Film’ season, in collaboration with Community Foundation Manchester, helping children to get into books and films at an early age. You can see the listings here.
📍4th Floor, Spinners Mill, Park Ln, Leigh WN7 2LB.