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Cornerhouse 2009.jpg
General information
Location Oxford Street, Manchester,
Coordinates 53°28′27.50″N2°14′28″W / 53.4743056°N 2.24111°W / 53.4743056; -2.24111 Coordinates: 53°28′27.50″N2°14′28″W / 53.4743056°N 2.24111°W / 53.4743056; -2.24111

Cornerhouse was a centre for cinema and the contemporary visual arts next to Oxford Road Station on Oxford Street, Manchester, England. [1] It had three floors of art galleries, three cinemas, a bookshop, a bar and a café bar. [2]

Manchester Oxford Road railway station Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1

Manchester Oxford Road railway station is a railway station in Manchester, England, at the junction of Whitworth Street West and Oxford Street. It opened in 1849 and was rebuilt in 1960. It is the second busiest of the four stations in Manchester city centre.

Wilmslow Road major road in Manchester, England

Wilmslow Road is a major road in Manchester, England, running from Parrs Wood northwards to Rusholme. There it becomes Oxford Road and the name changes again to Oxford Street when it crosses the River Medlock and reaches the city centre.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.


Cornerhouse was operated by Greater Manchester Arts Centre Ltd, a registered charity. [3] [4]

The buildings

Cornerhouse occupies two buildings. The main building, 70 Oxford Street, was built for John Shaw in the early 1900s and was a furniture store run by the family until it closed in 1985. The building on the other side of the approach to Oxford Road station was built as a cinema and went through many changes of name (News Theatre, Essoldo, Classic, Tatler Cinema Club). [5]


Outside the main entrance of Cornerhouse, June 2012 Cornerhouse Cinema in Manchester (7428498866).jpg
Outside the main entrance of Cornerhouse, June 2012

Cornerhouse was conceived by the Greater Manchester Visual Arts Trust, chaired by Sir Bob Scott. It opened with the support of the then Greater Manchester County Council and Manchester City Council, North West Arts Association (now part of Arts Council England) and the British Film Institute.

Greater Manchester County Council

The Greater Manchester County Council (GMCC) was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater Manchester from 1974 to 1986. A strategic authority, with responsibilities for public transport, planning, emergency services and waste disposal, it was composed of 106 members drawn from the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester. The Greater Manchester County Council shared power with ten lower-tier district councils, each of which directed local matters. It was also known as the Greater Manchester Council (GMC) and the Greater Manchester Metropolitan County Council (GMMCC).

Manchester City Council Local government body in England

Manchester City Council is the local government authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. It is composed of 96 councillors, three for each of the 32 electoral wards of Manchester. The council is controlled by the Labour Party and led by Sir Richard Leese. The opposition is formed by the Liberal Democrats and led by former Manchester Withington MP John Leech. Joanne Roney is the chief executive. Many of the council's staff are based at Manchester Town Hall.

Arts Council England arts organization in London, England

Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganisation in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation.

Cornerhouse's first Director was Dewi Lewis, [6] who had previously been Director of Bury Metro Arts. The building opened on 3 October 1985. The first film screened (on 18 October) was Nic Roeg's Insignificance. Dave Moutrey has been Director and CEO since 1998.

Dewi Lewis British book publisher

Dewi Lewis is a Welsh publisher and curator of photography.

The Met (arts centre) performing arts venue in Bury, England

The Met is a performing arts venue in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. It has two theatre spaces and a café bar.

Nicolas Roeg English film director and cinematographer

Nicolas Jack Roeg was an English director and cinematographer, best known for directing Performance (1970), Walkabout (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Bad Timing (1980), and The Witches (1990).

Since its inception Cornerhouse has hosted the UK premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and was the first UK public gallery to commission work from Damien Hirst.

Quentin Tarantino American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor

Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American filmmaker and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear storylines, satirical subject matter, an aestheticization of violence, extended scenes of dialogue, ensemble casts consisting of established and lesser-known performers, references to popular culture and a wide variety of other films, soundtracks primarily containing songs and score pieces from the 1960s to the 1980s, and features of neo-noir film.

<i>Reservoir Dogs</i> 1992 film by Quentin Tarantino

Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American heist film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino in his feature-length debut. It stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, Tarantino, and criminal-turned-author Edward Bunker, as diamond thieves whose planned heist of a jewelry store goes terribly wrong. The film depicts the events before and after the heist. Kirk Baltz, Randy Brooks and Steven Wright also play supporting roles. It incorporates many motifs that have become Tarantino's hallmarks: violent crime, pop culture references, profanity, and nonlinear storytelling.

Damien Hirst English artist

Damien Steven Hirst is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is one of the Young British Artists (YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List. During the 1990s his career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, but increasing frictions came to a head in 2003 and the relationship ended.

In 2012, it was announced that Cornerhouse would merge with the Library Theatre Company to form HOME . In 2015, both organisations moved to new premises at the HOME centre.


The main cinema building in its last week of operation prior to re-opening in a new location as HOME - a joint venture with the Library Theatre Company, April 2015 Goodbye Cornerhouse (16830701449).jpg
The main cinema building in its last week of operation prior to re-opening in a new location as HOME - a joint venture with the Library Theatre Company, April 2015

The Cornerhouse offered independent cinema, and contemporary art in the galleries. Cornerhouse’s contemporary visual art programme was dedicated to launching artists who had not received major institutional recognition in Britain. It also let mid-career artists realise new projects in commissions and exhibitions on and off-site. The visual arts programme presented works in all media, with an emphasis on film and video that has a strong link with the film programme.

Cornerhouse produced or co-produced all of its exhibitions as well as a programme for each show. A regular feature of its visual arts programme was international group exhibitions which explored socio-political concerns. In 2011, Cornerhouse launched Artist Film, a project for the production and distribution longer films, starting with Gillian Wearing’s Self Made. Cornerhouse was a partner in the plus Tate programme.

On average, 30 titles were screened across the three screens every month. The cinemas were open seven days a week, with daily matinee and evening performances (no matinees on Monday), making a total of almost 3,500 screenings annually.

Cornerhouse film programme was international in scope and offered new and innovative film and video alongside more familiar work. This resulted in the screening of new films and re-releases; second runs of overlooked or underrated titles; classic and archive material; shorts, animation and documentary; avant garde film and television; and foreign language films. Alongside a variety of touring film programmes, Cornerhouse also ran two festivals every year ¡Viva! Spanish [n 1] and Latin American Film Festival and exposures. [n 2]


Photobooks by John Davies, David Lurie, Paul Reas, Chris Steele-Perkins and John R J Taylor, all published by Cornerhouse Cornerhouse-photobooks.jpg
Photobooks by John Davies, David Lurie, Paul Reas, Chris Steele-Perkins and John R J Taylor, all published by Cornerhouse

In 1987, Dewi Lewis launched the Cornerhouse Publications imprint with 'A Green and Pleasant Land' by John Davies. Cornerhouse Publications was joint winner of The Sunday Times Small Publisher of The Year Award in 1990. The imprint continued to be active until 1994 and over the period published books by many major international photographers. [7] [n 3]


  1. The ¡Viva! Spanish website is here Archived 5 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine ..
  2. The exposures website is here.
  3. As examples: Chris Steele-Perkins, The Pleasure Principle (1989, ISBN   0948797509); Nick Waplington, Living Room (1991, ISBN   0948797568); Bruce Gilden, Facing New York (1992, ISBN   094879707X); Richard Misrach and Susan Sontag, Violent Legacies (1992, ISBN   0948797274); Robert Frank, The Americans, new ed. (1993, ISBN   0948797835, ISBN   0948797827).

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  1. "Closed for good: Manchester's Cornerhouse bows out with final rave". Manchester Evening News . Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  2. "Cornerhouse". Culture24 . Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  3. "Greater Manchester Arts Centre Ltd". Open Charities. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  4. "Greater Manchester Arts Centre Ltd". Charity Commission . Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  5. "Manchester: Cornerhouse". Local Government Improvement and Development. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  6. "About Us". Dewi Lewis Publishing. Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  7. "Dewi Lewis - The man who switched focus onto photographers - and founded a cultural gem". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.