Manchester Entertainment

The city of Manchester includes a range of entertainment options for visitors; the city includes a choice of theatres, film and cinemas, a range of live comedy venues and dance productions from traditional to opera, ballet and contemporary. There are also a number of local festivals that take place throughout the year.

Our quick guide to entertainment in Manchester outlines a range of entertainment venues offering a choice of productions throughout the year:


The Palace Theatre is located on Oxford Road close to Manchester Oxford Road railway station. The historic theatre dates back to the late 19th century and over the years has gained a fine reputation as one of the leading theatres in Manchester. The theatre hosts a number of touring musicals along with a varied programme of ballet, opera, comedy and concerts, offering something for most tastes.

The Manchester Opera House is located on Quay Street in Manchester city centre. The theatre first opened back in 1915, with the theatre building built in classical style. The theatres hosts a number of live performances throughout the year including ballets, concerts, musicals and pantomimes at Christmas. The theatre has a capacity of just under 2,000 and is known for its impressive auditorium.


Manchester includes a number of cinemas located in the city including cinemas from larger cinemas chains such as Odeon and Cineworld to smaller and independent cinemas showing a range of British, Hollywood and International films.

The Cornerhouse Cinema is centrally located in Manchester on Oxford Road in a three storey building that includes three screens, bar, café, bookshop and art gallery. The Cornerhouse is ideal for the film connoisseur showcasing the best in independent and art house cinema from around the world. Visitors can see a wide range of independent films including shorts, animation, foreign , documentaries and small scale releases.

Showcase Cinema Manchester is located on Hyde Road a few miles from the city centre in Manchester. Here visitors can see the latest film releases including the best in British films and the latest films from Hollywood.

AMC Cinema in Manchester is located in Deansgate inside the Great Northern Shopping & Leisure Development. Alongside the cinema there is also a number of bars and restaurants in the complex. Cinema goers can see the latest in British, Hollywood and International films at the cinema that includes 16 screens.

The Printworks is located close to Cathedral Gardens in the heart of Manchester city centre. The entertainment complex includes a choice of bars, restaurants, clubs and includes a gym and cinema. The Odeon cinema includes an IMAX 3D screen, visitors can see the latest films releases including both UK and international films. The range of entertainment available at the Printworks ensures there is something for everyone here.


For fans of gigs Manchester Arena is the largest venue in the city is worth checking out. Located close to Manchester Victoria railway station in central Manchester, the indoor arena attracts some of the biggest names in pop and show business, from singers and pop groups to comedians and entertainment shows there is a wide range of entertainment available. The arena is one of the largest in Europe with a capacity of 21,000 attracting over one million visitors each year.

Other well known venues include the Manchester Apollo and Manchester Academy. Whilst Bridgewater Hall offers the latest acoustics and a varied programme taking in classical, jazz, and World Music.


The Comedy Store Manchester is located in the Deansgate Locks development close to the Castlefield area of Manchester. The venue started back in 2000 and has since established itself as a leading venue for comedy in Manchester and the UK. The venue includes a bar, restaurant and a 500 seat auditorium, visitors can see a range of comic talent on show from established big names to up and coming comedians. Shows include the best in stand up, new talent and two comedy teams battling against one another using audience suggestions.

Other Events

There are plenty of events going on in Manchester, it is best to check before you visit to see if the timings fit in with your schedules.

Manchester's football loyalties like their neighbours in Liverpool are spilt between the red of Manchester United and the blue of Manchester City. Both clubs have passionate supporters evident in the derby games between the two teams. Visitors can see a game to experience the passion, great support given to the home teams and wonderful match day atmosphere. It is wise to book early given games are usually sold out in advance.

Manchester United one of the most recognisable names in world football are one of the largest and best supported clubs in the world and stadium tours of the 'theatre of dreams' at Old Trafford are available.

After many years in the shadow of their illustrious local rivals Manchester City have emerged as an ever growing force in football giving the city of Manchester two of the top clubs in the country. There are tours available of the Etihad Stadium located to the east of Manchester city centre.

In keeping with a city that is constantly on the go, Manchester has a packed events schedule. Visitors can choose to visit the city in time for one of the events to see them first hand. Jazz fans can see the Manchester Jazz Festival in July and the Speciality Christmas Markets in December. The Manchester Irish festival takes place in March as a celebration of Irish culture, art, music, theatre and sport. There are many others and you can check before you visit see Manchester Events for more details on a range of events taking place in the city.

The Manchester Jazz Festival takes place in July and celebrates the regions own musical scene and artists. The festival reflects the dynamic and cutting edge nature of the Manchester jazz scene with a range of emerging and up and coming artists performing contemporary jazz at the festival. Visitors can see a number of gigs performed by a range of artists across the nine day festival that take place across a range of venues across the city.

Manchester Christmas Markets usually take place from the middle of November and through December. Visitors will find a range of stalls with both local and European producers offering a range of food and goods from cheeses, breads, gift ideas and leather goods. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of food and drink at the festival with local cuisine and European delicacies available. The markets are known for their friendly atmosphere offering visitors the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.

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