11 iconic Manchester nightclubs we've loved and lost down the years including Jilly's and the Boardwalk
Step back in time and remember these long lost Manchester nightclubs.
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There are two types of Mancunians – the ones who were there and the ones who wish they had been there. Of course, we’re talking about the Hacienda.
Despite its relatively short life, the nightclub left an indelible legacy on Manchester and the UK music scene in general. But any Mancunian knows that there is far more to the city’s nightlife culture than the Hacienda – both back then, today and before Factory Records ever existed.
Today, it’s the Warehouse Project that reigns supreme in Manchester, but if you look hard enough there is something for everyone – from the goths, emos and metalheads at Satan’s Hollow, to the hen parties at Popworld.
In recent years, some of the modern stalwarts of the Manchester music scene have closed their doors for good, including indie club South and the student favourite Fifth Ave. They join the ranks of the city’s legendary nightclubs that are gone but not forgotten – every generation of Mancunians has their own.
We asked you for your favourite Manchester nightclubs loved and lost and were inundated with responses – proving, if nothing else, that this city knows how to party. Here are some of the most popular answers.
The Phoenix – Located on Oxford Road, at the now demolished university precinct, this was a popular nightclub before turning into a student pub towards the end of its life. Many readers mentioned the club’s Tangled night in particular.
Rotters – The popular eighties nightclub once occupied the former Gaumont Cinema on Oxford Road, which was opened in the thirties. It closed in the nineties and was torn down to make way for a car park.
Jilly’s Rockworld – This club opened in the seventies and was known as Rafters, then Fagins before later changing its name to Jilly’s in 1983. It closed in 2010, but was a popular alternative nightclub. It is now a Tesco.
The Twisted Wheel – In the sixties and early seventies, this was the place to be if you were into Northern Soul. In the decades following, it changed its name a few times – Placemate 7, Follies and then Legend – but shut its doors for good in 2002. Northern Soul nights continued to take place there from the 2000s, but the building, 6 Whitworth Street, was demolished in 2013, despite campaigns to save it. It is now a hotel, but the legacy of Twisted Wheel lives on in club nights at Band on the Wall.
Boardwalk – Open from 1986 to 1999, Boardwalk was a contemporary of the Hacienda and doubled up as rehearsal rooms for many of the popular Manchester artists of the time. It is also famed for being the venue for Oasis’ first ever gig and for DJ Dave Haslam’s regular night, Yellow, which was also mentioned multiple times by our readers. Located on Little Peter Street, it is now office space, but there is now a blue plaque to commemorate it – complete with acid house smiley face.
The Continental – The first Continental club on Oxford Road was knocked down in 1965 and the owners reopened in 1967 under the name The New Continental, or ‘the Conti,’ on Harter Street.
Pips – Located in a basement behind the Cathedral, this club was a popular spot among the members of Joy Division and The Smiths in the seventies. It closed in 1982.
Discotheque Royale – This grand building on Peter Street, built in 1845 started out life as a theatre and is, in fact the oldest surviving theatre in Manchester. It has been a cinema and bingo hall in its lifetime, but many people will remember it as a nightclub, which closed for the last time in 2010.
Foo Foo’s Palace – Home of one of Manchester’s most famous drag queens Foo Foo Lammar, this Dale Street club closed in 2002 after almost 30 years.
Sankeys – Opened in 1994 and closing in 2017, this Ancoats club was, in some ways, the precursor to the Warehouse Project and where Manchester’s night time economy tsar Sacha Lord made his name in the industry. It frequently made it onto lists of the best night clubs in the world.