I’ve lived in Manchester since 1988, and Cornerhouse has been part of my life ever since.
People I worked with at the time used to raise their eyebrows when I said I’d been there – “what, you mean with the dirty mac brigade!?” I hadn’t realised that for people who had lived in Manchester longer than me, the site had previously been a very differnt kind of cinema. Which accounted for the very slight rake in the front section of the house. I mean, one wouldn’t want to be overlooked from above while one was … ahem … engaging with the film, so to speak.
I’ve been trying to remember the first film I saw at Cornerhouse, and I’ve concluded that it must have been The Last Temptation of Christ. Then I recall getting the bus up the road to have my first ever curry in Rusholme, on Manchester’s famous Curry Mile.
As someone who enjoys learning and hearing foreign languages, it’s been the ideal place to discover world cinema, and to catch films which won’t be shown elsewhere (whenever possible from seat S1 in cinema 1). I’ve been to film courses there, director and actor Q&As (I have breathed the same air as Viggo Mortensen, no less), film festivals, school visits. There have been one or two uncomfortable dates which started and/or ended in the bar, and the free wifi has let me work there on numerous occasions. Friends have bumped into me in the cafe on a wet bank holiday afternoon, as I treated myself to a glass of wine between two film showings. I love the place so much that I hired one of the cinemas for a private screening for my 50th birthday.
I’m sitting in the restaurant having a final falafel burger before going to watch my final film here, and it’s strange referring to it in the past tense! But times change. An era is ending, and a new one is about to begin.
So bye bye Cornerhouse. It’s been brilliant. See you when you’re Home! x