Cannon Deansgate

68-74 Deansgate,
Manchester, M3 2FN

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terry on May 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

A small cinema with a big feel – the ABC Deansgate used to be solidly booked for weeks and months ahead which gave it an air of exclusivity and was known as the cinema you could never get into.

Not everyone appreciated this intimacy, however, and when ‘My Fair Lady’ had its roadshow run there a friend of mine, whilst having his hair cut at a Manchester Barber’s, overheard a conversation in which a disgruntled person said “Fancy showing a lovely film like ‘My Fair Lady’ in a poky place like the Deansgate when we have the Gaumont!”

He obviously did not understand product alignment and agreements between certain distributors and exhibitors and,of course, why should he have? – his sentiments were,after all,quite valid.

ABC, of course, had at one time operated the Theatre Royal, Peter Street, which became Manchester’s cinerama theatre. They later purchased a valuable site on Oxford Street on which was to be built a prestigious ABC but I understand that this did not materialise because they received a very generous offer from a developer for the site. When that company once again addressed the matter of not having an actual city centre venue in Manchester(they had many large cinemas on the periphery the best example being the huge Apollo Ardwick), the only place available was the small, but generally highly regarded,Deansgate Picture House which included a busy restaurant. At this time it was part of the Brennan’s Circuit(which included the Queen’s Theatre, Blackpool)whose Head Office was at the Deansgate.

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on April 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

abcman – I worked there also as a T/A/M under Ken Pickering around that time. We also had Dennis Davidson as A/M. At that time we were playing ‘Where Eagles Dare’ which ran for 26 weeks. Perhaps we crossed paths? my contact email is

abcman on September 30, 2008 at 9:46 am

Did Management relief duties at the ABC Deansgate in the early 1970’s when Ken Pickering was the General Manager there. Always a busy house.


gordonl on November 24, 2007 at 6:09 pm

Saw “Percy”, “Clockwork Orange” and “The Omen” here where, to add to the drama, you were picketed by Christians on the way in and saw nurses with stretchers in case of fainters inside…

delta on January 22, 2007 at 6:51 am

The first Todd-AO presentation was ‘Porgy & Bess’ which, unusually, was shown as a continuous performance rather than as a roadshow presentation with pre-booked seats. Later, I recall seeing ‘Dr Zhivago’ in 70mm. When the screen curtains opened they became jammed thus obscuring part of the screen. The film was stopped after about five minutes when the manager came on stage, tugged at the curtains and was able to clear the screen. Then the film started again from the beginning.

Ian on January 22, 2007 at 12:04 am

Couple of interior pics here.

Whilst still a cinema in 1986:-

After conversion to a pub – showing some of the restored original ceiling:-

Ian on August 14, 2006 at 1:02 am

Another picture here when still a cinema:–

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