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A huge rooftop cinema is coming to Manchester’s Depot Mayfield

Backyard Cinema will build a purpose-built 330-capacity indoor winter cinema on the rooftop of Depot Mayfield, the long-standing derelict former Mayfield Railway Station.

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 31st August 2022

The abandoned train platform at the top of Depot Mayfield will be converted into a huge rooftop cinema, complete with movie-grade sets and an Enchanted Forest this winter, it has been revealed.

The derelict railway tracks, original ticket office, waiting room, and signature cast iron roof structure, once used as overflow for Piccadilly train Station, will be turned into a unique cinematic set-up ready for the cold weather season.

Due to open in Manchester city centre this October, the new arrival comes from the team behind the Backyard Cinema.

So named because it originally began life in its founder’s garden, the ‘immersive cinema experience’ will come to Manchester for a limited 10-week run.

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Backyard Cinema is coming to Manchester. Credit: Supplied

Following on from nine years of running huge screening events in the capital, this will be the first time that the cinema has hosted an event in the north of England.

Tunnels of trees and magical doors will lead visitors on a journey of discovery as they head towards the Enchanted Forest and home of the Lost Theatre.

The purpose-built indoor cinema screening room itself will be filled with custom-made giant bean bag seating for guests to get cosied up in, with ushers offering table service for seasonal cocktails and sweet treats to save you getting out of your seat.

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And that’s not all. As well as its magical cinema room and enchanted forest, the rooftop cinema will also feature two communal drinking areas, street food and a live music stage.

Kicking off on Friday 21 October, organisers say it will offer ‘an immersive cinema experience that is more than just the movies.’

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Screening a mixture of brand new releases and classics, film fans will be able to catch cult classics like E.T. and The Greatest Showman, brand new releases like Elvis and MInions 2.

Backyard Cinema will open on the rooftop at Depot Mayfield in Manchester city centre. Credit: Supplied

Then come Christmas time, there will be special screenings of heartwarming winter favourites including Elf, Home Alone, Love Actually and The Holiday.

The full film programme, which is set to cater for families, couples, kids and friends alike, will be announced in its entirety when tickets go on early release sale on Wednesday 7th September.

Speaking on the new arrival, Dominic Davies, Founder and CEO of Backyard Cinema, said: We are excited to take our alternative cinema pop-up outside of London for the very first time and we are proud to be joining The Warehouse Project and Escape to Freight Island in one of Manchester’s most exciting regeneration projects at Depot Mayfield.

Tunnels of trees and magical doors will lead visitors to the rooftop cinema. Credit: Supplied

“Manchester is such a unique creative city with lots of cultural happenings and we look forward to being part of the community and offering the most magical cinema experience to all.”

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Simeon Aldred from Broadwick Live, said: “Backyard Cinema has built a first-rate reputation with audiences for creating immersive and exciting film experiences in landmark venues, and so it seemed like a natural partnership for Depot Mayfield.

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“This building played a central role in Manchester’s industrial past, and is now a major driving force in the city’s booming cultural scene, as well as acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the surrounding area.”

Martyn Evans, Creative Director at U+I, said: “Backyard Cinema will be a fantastic addition to Mayfield’s evolving entertainment offer that has transformed a previously derelict part of Manchester’s city centre. It’s exactly the kind of creative, immersive and inclusive experience that is making Mayfield a place for everyone.”

You can register to unlock exclusive limited early bird access for 48 hours only ahead of pre-sale opening on Wednesday 7 September – visit backyardcinema.co.uk/manchester for more information.

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