Cornerhouse Cinemas

70 Oxford Street,
Oxford Road Station Approach,
Manchester, M1 5NH

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Classic Cinemas (UK)

Architects: Peter Cummings

Firms: Charles Swain & Partners

Functions: University

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Kinemacolor Palace, Tatler News Theatre, Classic Cinema, Tatler Cinema Club, Glamour Cinema Club

Nearby Theaters

Cornerhouse Cinemas

The 500-seat Kinemacolor Palace was opened on 30th December 1910 by Manchester Electric Theatres Ltd. It was located on Whitworth Street West, at the bottom of the approach to Oxford Road Railway Station. It was designed by architectural firm Charles Swain & Partners. It was closed in early-1933 and became a furniture store.

It was replaced by the Tatler New Theatre a few yards away on Station Approach which opened on 3rd May 1935. It was designed by architect Peter Cummings, with a seating capacity of 300. Sited next to Oxford Road Railway Station the Tatler News Theatre was in an ideal site for its ‘drop-in’ programme of cartoons and news-reels, and this lasted until September 1959.

After lying closed for a while, it was reopened in November 1961 as the Tatler Classic with a programme of art house and foreign language films which was successful until in 1969 it moved to a more erotic fare as the Tatler Cinema Club showing uncensored adult films to club members.

These kept the projectors rolling until closure came again in August 1981. By February 1985 it had become the Glamour Cinema Club who had vacated their George Street premises, screening uncensored adult films (the original Glamour Cinema has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Across the narrow pathway to the station was Shaw’s furniture showroom (the former Kinemacolor Palace) which, in 1985, was bought to be converted into an arts complex of 2 cinemas seating 170 and 60, galleries, cafĂ© and bookshop. It was quickly realised that the former news theatre would make the best and largest screen of the complex and was thus acquired refurbished and reopened on 11th October 1985.

It then began the most popular and successful period of its life, the three Cornerhouse Cinemas as they are collectively known had an enterprising programming policy and loyal audience.

A full refurbishment was carried out in 1997, comfort and excellent technical facilities were paramount.

The Cornerhouse Cinemas was closed on 4th April 2015. One of the final films screened was “Blue Velvet”. The building is used by Manchester University as a teaching space.

In May 2015, the Cornerhouse Cinemas was moved across to a purpose built arts centre known as Home, which contains five screens, a 450-seat theatre and a 150-seat flexible theatre space. It has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 11, 2005 at 9:32 am

October 1999 night view of the Cornerhouse Cinemas here:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 16, 2005 at 5:36 am

Due to the relaxation of the Licensing Laws in England and Wales which are due to come into force in November 2005, the Cornerhouse Cinemas have become the first cinema in England to be granted a 24 hours Drinking Licence to serve alcoholic drinks 24/7.

Of course making it legal doesn’t mean it will happen and the managment have stated that drinks will be normally only be served during regular cinema operating hours. It’s nice to think you can get a drink at 3am after a late night movie has finished and chat to friends in the cinema bar. Most civilised….and about time too.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 25, 2005 at 4:39 am

A photograph of the No. 1 screen in the Cornerhouse Cinema, Manchester:
View link

woody on December 5, 2005 at 5:48 am

when i started college in manchester in 1985 im sure that i remember this cinema being a derelict porn theatre, painted grubby pink and possibly called the pussycat, can anyone confirm this, id like to think it was true…lol

woody on May 16, 2009 at 6:08 am

here is an ariel shot of the two Cornerhouse buildings taken around 1994 from my office, it was before the glass wall makeover of the main cinema.
in the distance you can see the BBC building and next to it the bulky pitched roof of the Regal Twin (now Dancehouse theatre)
View link

Ian on October 27, 2009 at 1:53 am

Two more photos taken in October 2009:

Exterior of the former news theatre

Interior of Screen 2 in the main block

Ian on April 12, 2010 at 1:26 am

Another photo taken in 1988 before the external cladded was added:–

rivest266 on November 4, 2021 at 1:18 pm

This opened on May 3rd, 1935. Grand opening ad posted.

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