The Printworks (originally known as Kemsley House) is an urban entertainment venue, located on Withy Grove in Manchester city centre, England. The building was constructed in 1929 and was the largest newspaper printing house in Europe. In 2000, as part of the redevelopment of Manchester following the 1996 bomb, it reopened as a leisure centre offering clubs and eateries.
Originally a printing press factory and offices, it was constructed in 1929. Nikolaus Pevsner describes the exterior as a "weakly Baroque Portland stone façade". A remnant of the former newspaper office is the internal railway and its turntable for transporting newspapers - this feature was incorporated into the new floor of The Printworks.
Until 1986 the Printworks was home to a printing press. Its demise was signalled by Robert Maxwell who bought the building for £1 and subsequently closed it down. The building was left unused for over a decade and fell derelict.
The derelict building and surrounding site was bought for £10 million by Shudehill Developments in 1998, a joint venture by Co-operative wholesale society and Co-operative Insurance Society who owned buildings and land adjacent to the building. The building was re-branded as The Printworks which reflects its past history and underwent a £110 conversion to transform the building into an entertainment venue. The building printed publications such as the Daily Sketch as well as newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times.
It reopened as the home for a variety of clubs and eateries in 2000 and was launched with fireworks and a radio roadshow featuring many local and international acts, headlined by Lionel Richie. The new 300,000 square feet facility which was set over four floors. The new building featured a twenty-screen UCI cinema (subsequently bought by Odeon) which included one of the first IMAX screens in the United Kingdom and a 4,000 capacity underground nightclub.
The external lighting facing Exchange Square has been changed numerous times since opening. According to owners Odeon, it has the only IMAX screen in a 30 mile radius and is the largest outside London.
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