O2 Apollo Manchester
|Apollo Theatre (1938–62; 2010)
Manchester Apollo (1962–2003)
Carling Apollo Manchester (2003–09)
|Designation||Listed Building Grade II*|
|Opened||29 August 1938|
R. Gillespie Williams
The O2 Apollo Manchester (formerly Manchester Apollo) is a concert venue located in Ardwick Green, Manchester, England. Locally known as The Apollo, it is a Grade II listed building, with a capacity of 3,500 (2,514 standing, 986 seats). O2 Apollo Manchester was originally built as an up-market cinema in 1938 on Ardwick Green – once a prosperous area of Manchester before slum clearance after the war.
It was designed by architects Peter Cummings, Alex Irvine and R. Gillespie Williams in a modernist art deco style. The buildings frontage consists of a glazed white terracotta façade. Its original purpose was as a multi-purpose cinema and variety hall and was opened by 1930's 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 except in the "Whiteroom" hospitality area, accessible only to holders of a Whiteroom credit card.
The venue hosts a large number of popular music-based concerts and other events throughout the year and is one of Manchester's leading concert venues. Recent years have seen successful bands perform at both the Apollo and the Manchester Arena on differing dates to create different atmospheres and reach different audiences.
It has a distinctive red ceiling and raked floor giving an excellent intimate view of the stage from anywhere in the auditorium. Merchandise is sold in the lobby. There are three bars, two on the ground floor and another on the second.
Concert management and advertisement is handled by Live Nation, merchandise is sold by the permanent resident concession company Pantheon Franchise, and first aid cover for all events is provided by St. John Ambulance.
In 2010, the venue was rebranded as the O2 Apollo Manchester. In September 2012, the venue ventured back into the cinema business but kept its music venue and opened a digitally equipped cinema screen next door to the O2 Priority Room.
In 1989, Kylie Minogue performed on 18 October as part of her first tour on The Hitman Roadshow. She came back in 1991 and performed on 31 January as part of her Let's Get to It Tour. She performed on four dates in March 2001 as part of her On a Night Like This Tour. In 2012, she performed 2 shows as part of her Anti Tour.
- "Venue amenities". O2 Apollo Manchester. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- Rudyard & Wyke 1994, p. 27
- "Apollo Theatre, Manchester". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Manchester Apollo". Carling. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
- "'Universally admired for the beauty of its appearance...' 1822 description of Ardwick Green area.". Manchester Confidential. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- O2 Apollo Manchester (official website)