6 brilliant Greater Manchester indie cinemas to try out this National Cinema Day including HOME and the Savoy

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Celebrate National Cinema Day at these Greater Manchester indie cinemas.

Whether you’re a die-hard cinephile or just a casual movie-goer, a trip to the cinema is always an event. Nothing beats the feeling of when the lights dim, the surround sound begins to rumble around you and the opening titles appear.

Luckily, Greater Manchester is home to some fantastic theatres, including four in Manchester city centre alone – from single screens indies to multiplexes housing giant, hi-tech IMAX screens.

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However, the pandemic and streaming boom have meant that the cinema industry has had a difficult few years, resulting in theatre closures around the world. Most recently, Cineworld announced it was going into administration and Odeon announced the closure of five cinemas earlier in May.

Leigh Film FactoryLeigh Film Factory
Leigh Film Factory

While the national chains, with their IMAX screens and blockbuster releases, may be the go-to for many film fans, it’s the small indie theatres, some of which are volunteer-led, that champion cinema of all forms. They make space for foreign cinema, grassroots cinema and re-releases of old films with carefully curated programming and other events.

So next time you fancy a trip to the cinema, ditch the overpriced snacks and groups of noisy teenagers and check out one of these Greater Manchester indie cinemas instead.

HOME

Let’s start with the obvious one. HOME is Manchester’s premiere arts and culture hub, boasting not only a cinema, but theatre, gallery space, gift shop, bar and restaurant. It is located at the bottom of Deansgate at Tony Wilson Place, First Street, where you will find several other bars and restaurants if you want to make a night of it.  In addition to the big releases of the day, they also show the best of international and indie cinema, as well as panel discussions and Q&As with industry professionals.

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Arts hub HOME has been recommended as a place to visit by Lonely Planet. Photo: Marketing ManchesterArts hub HOME has been recommended as a place to visit by Lonely Planet. Photo: Marketing Manchester
Arts hub HOME has been recommended as a place to visit by Lonely Planet. Photo: Marketing Manchester

Savoy Cinema

Located in Heaton Moor, this single-screen boutique cinema, built in 1923, was lovingly restored several years ago by the team behind the reopening of other small town cinemas in Melton Mowbray, Wilmslow and Belper. It has 175 seats, including 7 sofas and 27 luxury seats. Their programming appears to focus on the big releases and re-releases, but they also host other events and offers, including pizza club screenings, where you get pizza brought to your seat and baby-friendly screenings. More information can be found on the Savoy website.

Leigh Film Factory

This community cinema, run by Leigh Film Club, is located inside the historic Leigh Spinners Mill. It opened last year thanks to the hard work of the dedicated team of volunteers. With 110 seats, Leigh Film Factory screens a healthy mix of cult favourites and mainstream classics, both old and new. It also hosts the annual Wigan and Leigh Film Festival, which is coming up on 15 and 16 September.

The Rex

The Rex in Wilmslow is run by the same team as the Savoy and therefore has a similar program as mentioned above. However, the Rex is bigger with two screens, over 170 seats including 27 luxury seats, 18 sofas for two or four people, as well as a VIP Box in the Balcony hall.

Cultplex

Formerly known as the Chapeltown Picture House, this tiny cinema is located inside GRUB, one of Manchester’s best street food and events spaces. As the name suggests, they focus on the cult classics and old favourites. For example, their line-up currently includes everything from the Lord of the Rings trilogy to more niche offerings like the mind-bending 2006 anime Paprika. They also host quiz nights and screen the big sporting events as well. There are also plenty of great food options thanks to their rotating lineup of food vendors. More information can be found on the Cultplex website.

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Regent Cinema

The Regent is somewhat of a historical landmark in Marple, Stockport with a history that dates back to the 1930s. It has two screens and a line-up of films that includes the top releases of the day, as well as indie films. It can also be hired out for private events.

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