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

After months of closure - and the loss of vital income for many - cultural venues were amongst those allowed to reopen from Saturday 4th July, following the likes of shops and markets from 15th June. Despite being given the green light, however, many have yet to announce opening dates: the logistics of adhering to COVID-19 measuresfrom sanitation to social distancing, is a challenge; 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' as it emerges from lockdown. 

Here are the Manchester venues that have confirmed when they are reopening, with suitable measures in place, so far. 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

2020 06 29 Home Reopening
HOME plans to open its cinemas and dining spaces first, followed by its theatres and galleries


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

The Whitworth - September (date TBA)

People's History Museum - 1st September 

International Anthony Burgess Foundation - 8th September

The Whitworth 1 Oxford Rd Photo By Alan Williams Press
While Whitworth Park is open, the gallery remains closed until September Alan Williams Press


ODEON Trafford Centre - 4th July

Cineworld Didsbury - 31st July

Vue Manchester Lowry - 7th August 

ODEON Great Northern - 21st August 

Vue Manchester Printworks - 26th August 


Manchester Libraries - phased from 4th July 

Portico Library - 1st September

Manchester Skysline Beetham Central Library Midland Hotel Peter Street 456


After an extremely bumpy ride, the performing arts industry was set to reach stage four (socially distanced indoor performances) of the reopening ‘roadmap’ outlined by culture secretary Oliver Dowden on 1st August; however this, alongside further recreational easing, was then postponed by a fortnight due to rising COVID-19 cases. 

Socially distanced indoor performances, alongside the reopening of most remaining leisure settings - including bowling alleys, skating rinks, casinos and soft play centres; plus all close-contact services and piloted events in sports and conference centres - were finally given the go-ahead nationally from 15th August. In Greater Manchester, however, this green light won't apply until local lockdown is lifted.

While this is yet another blow for GM performance venues, for most it's not economically feasible to put on socially distanced shows anyway - making that elusive stage five (full reopening) the one that really counts. To highlight the desperate plight of live events and entertainment, Manchester joined in a nationwide 'red alert' on Tuesday 11th August, as well as hosting a powerful silent protest. 

What could open from 4th July?

  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
  • Places of worship
  • Libraries
  • Community centres
  • Restaurants, cafes and workplace canteens
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Cinemas
  • Bingo halls
  • Theatres and concert halls, but no live music
  • Museums and galleries
  • Hair salons and barbers
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Outdoor gyms
  • Funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • Amusement arcades
  • Outdoor skating rinks
  • Other indoor leisure centres or facilities, including indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues
  • Social clubs
  • Model villages
  • Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction

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