Manchester Apollo

Manchester Apollo

The Manchester Apollo is a concert venue in Manchester, England. The venue sits in between Manchester's two other major venues (the MEN Arena and Manchester Academy), being smaller than the Arena but larger than the Academy.

Locally known as 'The Apollo', it is a listed building with a capacity of 3,500 (2514 standing, 986 seats).The Manchester Apollo was originally built as an ABC Cinema Ardwick in 1930. It was designed by architects Peter Cummings, Alex Irvine and R Gillespie Williams. Its original purpose was as a cinema and variety hall. It was opened by famous 1930s actress Margaret Lockwood. Right up until the 1970s the venue continued to provide the same service to the public until the cinema industry declined and the variety side of the venue took over. It focused its resources on becoming a leading concert venue competing at that time with the likes of Maine Road. It also hosts seated events to a capacity of 2,693. Split into two levels, the upstairs contains permanently fitted seating, whereas the larger downstairs can be altered to suit the event; both levels view a single concert stage. The venue has no air conditioning apart from in the 'Whiteroom' hospitality area (accessible only by those who have a Whiteroom credit card) and can get uncomfortably hot in warm weather. The whole of the Apollo is now no smoking, and operates a strict no-readmittance policy, once you are inside you will not be allowed out to smoke.

The Apollo hosts a large number of primarily popular music based concerts and other events throughout the year. The venue can feel more intimate than the MEN Arena for both fans and artists, and recent years have sometimes seen successful bands perform at both the Apollo and the Arena on differing dates to create different atmospheres and reach different audiences.

It has a distinctive red ceiling and raked floor giving an excellent view of the stage from anywhere in the auditorium. Merchandise is sold in the lobby. There are three bars. The ground floor has two bars one off to the left hand side of the stage and one at the rear. There is also a bar on the second floor. However its old cinema style strucuture and size make it feel like a rather strange venue to some concert goers. It does provide fans the chance to be seated quite close to the stage in the circle though, with rows AA-FF being particularly close. The venue is located further away from the city centre than other venues, in Ardwick a poorer area of the city. Making parking more limited, with a number of smaller car parks operating close to the venue. It is stated that people should only use the official venue car parks, however it can be unclear to people which these are. On street parking is more limited than in the city centre itself, with some located in less desirable areas.

Concert management and advertisement is handled by Live Nation, and first aid cover is provided for all its events by St. John Ambulance.


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