An updated list of museums, galleries, cinemas, libraries and performance venues

After months of closure, and the loss of vital income for many, most cultural venues were allowed to reopen from Saturday 4th July. Despite this green light, however, reopenings are a gradual process: adhering to COVID-19 measures (from sanitation to social distancing) poses new challenges, while reduced capacities necessitate a further blow to budgets already severely under strain. The City Council is now asking for £71.8 million to help Manchester's cultural life 'repair, restart and rethink.' 

Here are the Manchester venues that have confirmed when they are reopening with suitable measures in place so far; please note services may be reduced and remember that face masks are now required in indoor cultural venues. 

This list is subject to change and will be regularly updated. For other GM postcodes, we advise checking with your local attractions for (re)opening times and visiting information. 


HOME - phased from 4th September 

The Lowry - phased from 27th November 

2020 06 29 Home Reopening
HOME's phased reopening started in September


The below galleries have a primarily non-retail focus; retail galleries were able to open from 15th June  

Ordsall Hall - 13th July

National Football Museum - 23rd July

Imperial War Museum North - 1st August 

Salford Museum & Art Gallery - 4th August 

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House - 12th August

Science & Industry Museum - 14th August 

Manchester Art Gallery - 20th August

People's History Museum - 1st September 

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Arts - 2nd September

International Anthony Burgess Foundation - 8th September

PAPER Gallery - 12th September

Castlefield Gallery - 16th September

Manchester Museum - 16th September

The Whitworth - 16th September

Museum of Transport Greater Manchester - 26th September

Holden Gallery - 2021 

The Whitworth 1 Oxford Rd Photo By Alan Williams Press
The Whitworth is now open once again Alan Williams Press


ODEON Trafford Centre - 4th July

Cineworld Didsbury - 31st July

Vue Manchester Lowry - 7th August 

ODEON Great Northern - 21st August 

Everyman Manchester - 21st August 

Vue Manchester Printworks - 26th August 


Manchester Libraries - phased from 4th July 

Portico Library - 1st September

Working Class Movement Library - 15th September 

Manchester Skysline Beetham Central Library Midland Hotel Peter Street 456


It remains an uncertain time for performing arts, which nationally reached stage four (socially distanced indoor performances) of the reopening ‘roadmap’ outlined by culture secretary Oliver Dowden on 15th August; in most of Greater Manchester, this was the even later date of 8th September due to local lockdown restrictions, which remain in place in Bolton. You can see the reopening story so far in our Octagon article

Social distancing regulations unfortunately make reopening unfeasible for many venues, making that elusive stage five (full reopening) the one that really counts; some such as The Dancehouse and RNCM have already announced they won't be reopening to the public until 2021. 

Several Manchester theatres, as well as comedy venue Frog and Bucket, have however announced plans to host autumn/winter events despite the devastating hit to profit margins this period entails (HOME has highlighted the impact of empty seats in a quirky campaign). Let's give them some support... 

The King's Arms | Autumn 

Now open for dining, this Chapel Street pub will return to live shows later this year. The venue is a location for Greater Manchester Fringe Festival. 

Contact | September  

Following its £6.75 million transformation, the Oxford Road institution is gradually building a programme of creative activities this year, ahead of shows in 2021. 

Frog and Bucket | September 

Raring to go after six months of closure, this Oldham Street comedy fave is open once again. 

Z-Arts | September  

Hulme children's venue Z-Arts is opening for participatory activities on 28th September before kickstarting its show schedule with Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers, 24th - 25th October.

HOME | October 

Following the reopening of its dining and cinema spaces, HOME will return to live theatre in October. 

Hope Mill Theatre | October 

The Ancoats fringe favourite will finally be welcoming theatre-goers once more, hosting rock musical Rent from 30th October. 

The Lowry | November 

Six the musical kickstarts The Lowry's return to live theatre on 27th November, while children are in for a Christmas treat with The Gruffalo from 4th December. 

Most music venues, meanwhile, remain closed; although some with a food/drink focus such as Albert Hall and The Whiskey Jar have started to gradually reintroduce live performance to their offer.   

Read more: COVID-19 - Manchester events cancelled or postponed