Disused railway depot to be transformed into experimental cinema

Mayfield cinema

A disused railway depot is to be turned into an experimental cinema this Christmas.

The temporary cinema will be housed underneath three railway arches within the cavernous Mayfield Depot close to Manchester city centre.

The Mayfield Depot is at the centre of a multimillion-pound redevelopment scheme which will see the southern edge of the city centre transformed with new parks, housing and shops.

The cinema, which has a limited capacity, features a 33 foot wide screen and high quality digital projector to give the very best experience possible.

Films will be screened every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with matinee screenings of children’s favourites at weekends.

Among the Christmas classics being shown are: The Greatest Showman which will feature stilt walkers, performers to create carnival atmosphere, Love Actually, with a live choir and band, Will Ferrell’s Elf, Home Alone 1&2, kids’ classic Polar Express and the 1985 favourite Santa Claus: The Movie starring Dudley Moore.

Experiential cinema has become increasingly popular in recent years introducing elements of live performance into film screenings such as choirs and other theatrics to make the film-going experience more immersive and interactive.

Michael Ferguson, the driving-force behind the programme said: “Nothing quite beats the experience of taking in a Christmas movie with your friends and family.

“We are really proud of what we’ve put together for visitors here, we think people will be really wowed by the set up.

“There are a few surprises we have in store and we can’t wait to open the doors, let people in and see their reactions.”

The Christmas cinema is just one of a number of festive activities taking place this year at the Mayfield site.

A series of Christmas workshops will take place alongside screenings on Saturdays with Christmas themed craft activities.

On Saturday December 22nd a 12 days of Christmas themed party will take place with a new activity starting on the hour, every hour between 1pm and midnight. Each activity is inspired by the carol from a Partridge in a Pear Tree at 1pm to 12 drummers drumming at midnight.

Mayfield will once again host the Mission Christmas collection on behalf of the Cash for Kids charity. Every year thousands of toys are donated and distributed to deserving families by individuals and organisations in the city.

GRUB – Mayfield’s resident weekly street food fair – Is getting in the festive mood stocking a range of Christmas treats including feuerzangenbowle, a flaming super-charged version of gluhwein, along with specially prepared mulled wine and cider.

During the month of December they will also be collecting donated items such as underwear, socks, coffee, tea, milk, sugar, toiletries, non-spoilable food and sanitary products for Manchester-based homeless charity Coffee4craig.

James Heather, development director at U+I added: “We’re sure these will be a very successful series of events and it is great to see Mayfield being used in such diverse ways.

Christmas is a really important time for all of us and we are very pleased to once again be hosting Mission Christmas which serves as a reminder that Christmas is for giving.”

The Mayfield Railway Station was built in 1910 as an overflow station for Manchester Piccadilly – then called London Road Station. It operated up until the 1960s and apart for a brief stint as a parcels depot in the 1970s, it has remained unused apart from for one-off events.

In 2016, U+I were appointed as development partner to deliver a wholesale regeneration of the former station and its surrounding areas.

The Mayfield Partnership have brought parts of the depot back into public use through a wide range of events including a weekly street-food fair and a host of one off events including everything from private functions, weddings and two trailblazer events from the Manchester international Festival programme for 2018.