Ho, ho, ho! From Home Alone to The Holiday, there’s a veritable Santa’s sackful of Christmas treats screening in Manchester this Christmas.
In addition to Christmas-themed programmes at your local cinemas, there are a number of alternative venues offering festive fare, including new openings and pop-up picture palaces.
From beloved Yuletide classics to festive family films, there’s certain to be something for everyone, whether you’re a grouchy Grinch or an elated elf. Here’s a round-up of celluloid Christmas crackers for your perusal.
Festive films at King Street Townhouse
From now until Christmas, bijou boutique hotel King Street Townhouse are projecting a series of festive flicks in their state-of-the-art private screening room.
Expanding on their programme from last year, the films on offer include Love Actually, Home Alone (and Home Alone 2), Elf, Night Before, Frozen, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Grinch (cartoon), Santa Claus: The Movie, Miracle on 34th Street, The Holiday, Four Christmases, Polar Express, The Santa Clause and It’s a Wonderful Life, as well as a Boxing Day Disney Day programme of the 2019 live-action versions of The Lion King, Dumbo and Aladdin.
Tickets cost between £16 and £33.
A Magical Christmas Movie Experience at Upper Campfield Market Hall
Following the success of their event at Fairfield Street Social Club last year, the organisers of A Magical Christmas Movie Experience are bringing back their pop-up cinema to a new venue – the Upper Campfield Market Hall on Deansgate.
Running for an extended weekend from 5th to 8th December, the programme of Christmas favourites includes The Holiday, Elf, Home Alone, Santa Claus: The Movie and Love Actually.
Each screening comes with a number of festive trimmings, including an enchanted forest, a live gospel choir and Yuletide refreshments, including Christmas cocktails and mulled wine but no sprouts.
Tickets for all the films start from £16.99.
Classic musicals season at HOME
It’s becoming something of a tradition at HOME to offer something super-special for the Christmas season. This year, rather than screening the usual Crimbo classics, they’re offering a season of classic musicals, including several films that are very rarely seen on the big screen.
The BFI’s Musicals: The Greatest Show on Screen programme includes Singin’ in the Rain, On The Town, The Barkleys of Broadway, It’s Always Fair Weather, The Band Wagon and Bells Are Ringing, as well as 42nd Street, Footlight Parade and Gold Diggers of 1933.
There will also be screenings of Bob Fosse’s classic Cabaret, charmant French classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and the Judy Garland version of A Star Is Born, as well as Doris Day whip-cracking it away in Calamity Jane.
In addition, the First Street arts centre will screen perennial Christmas favourite It’s a Wonderful Life (recently voted Manchester’s most magical Christmas film) from 14th December.
BFI Musicals: The Greatest Show on Screen runs at HOME from Sunday 1st December to Monday 30th December.
Christmas releases at Odeon and Vue
There’s no shortage of festive fare in the mainstream releases on offer this year. The multiplexes will be showing Last Christmas (starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding), Frozen II, furry feline musical Cats and horror remake Black Christmas.
Check your local cinemas for details.
All I Want For Christmas at Everyman St John’s
The newly opened Everyman cinema in Manchester St John’s is screening a selection of seasonal classics in their All I Want For Christmas programme. These include Die Hard, Bad Santa, Gremlins, Love, Actually, The Muppets Christmas Carol and Elf.
In addition, on 4th December, there’s a special screening of Branagh Theatre Live: The Winter’s Tale, starring Dame Judi Dench as Paulina and Branagh as Leontes.
The Winter’s Tale is also screening at Everyman Altrincham, alongside a selection of Christmas fare that includes Home Alone and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the live-action version).
The Village Screen at Victoria Baths
The Village Screen Pop-up Cinema returns to Manchester’s Victoria Baths for a long weekend of Christmas classics that includes Home Alone, Elf, How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Love, Actually.
Running between 6th and 8th December, the screenings will take place in the ornate surroundings of Manchester’s Edwardian water palace, with the period detailing of the Gala pool providing a uniquely memorable setting.
Each screening will also have a DJ playing Christmas tracks before the film, plus a selection of street food vendors and a pop-up bar, serving a selection of drinks throughout the evening.
Full-price tickets cost between £14.50 and £16.50 (for balcony or pool-level seats).
Cultureplex Christmas Cinema Parties
Housed within the Ducie Street Warehouse, the boutique cinema at Cultureplex (aka the Mini Cini) are screening a bumper crop of Christmas classics throughout December, including Scrooged, It’s a Wonderful Life, Bad Santa, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Trading Places, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Die Hard, Gremlins, Carol, Meet Me in St Louis and White Christmas.
In addition, Cultreplex are also offering a bespoke Christmas Cinema Party experience. Revellers can enjoy the Christmas menu in one of Cultureplex’s private dining rooms, followed by an exclusive film screening, chosen from a selection of the films listed above.
The Bottomless Singing Cinema
The Bottomless Singing Cinema will be holding a special screening of festive romcom Love Actually under the archways at The Viadux, complete with unlimited booze.
Tickets cost £15, with a £20 upgrade option for bottomless wine, beer or spirit mixers throughout the screening. It lasts two and a half hours, so that’s plenty of boozing time.
The fun kicks off on 21st December with two screenings across the day: a matinee at 12pm and an evening screening at 7.30pm.
The Snowman at The Bridgewater Hall
Raymond Briggs’ perennial favourite returns to The Bridgewater Hall after its successful screenings last year.
Fans of The Snowman can enjoy the film with The Hallé orchestra performing Craig Armstrong’s score on 20th and 23rd December.
Flashbacks at Showcase Cinema
Alongside this year’s selection of festive releases, Manchester’s Showcase Cinema is screening a handful of Christmas classics in their regular Flashback strand.
These include Elf, Gremlins, Bing Crosby in White Christmas and Cary Grant in The Bishop’s Wife.