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The building which now houses the Dancehouse Theatre in Manchester was originally designed by Pendleton and Dickson for property developer Emannuel Nove, as two large meeting halls over a parade of shops. Before the halls were completed inside, they were converted into two cinemas (The Regal Twins) with fashionable 1930 Art Deco interiors. These were converted in the 1960s to a five screen complex before closing in the 1980s.
A lease for the derelict property was obtained in 1990 by the Northern Ballet School, which together with its sister company The Dancehouse Theatre, set about restoring the building to its former Art Deco splendour.
One previously derelict 750 seat cinema was converted to create the Dancehouse Theatre, officially opened in 1994 by Princess Margaret. The next four cinemas and other areas of the building were converted into the five dance studios and associated facilities that now house The Northern Ballet School.
The Dancehouse Theatre complex extends to some 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) and comprises the theatre, three medium and two large dance studios, all fully equipped to meet the highest standards, changing rooms, shower facilities, a Green Room, a licensed Cafe Bar, Theatre Bar and Coffee Shop.
The £500,000 cost of converting the theatre was largely met by donations from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, the Arts Council of England and many other generous subscribers to the companies development programme.
Local band Elbow filmed the video to 'Newborn' here. The theatre was supposed to be underwater so all extras were asked to wear blue.