Starlight Theatre

Water Street, Manchester M3 4JQ   |   Status at Jun ’19: DEMOLISHED

Located directly above the Arches, the Starlight Theatre was built for the Granada Studios Tour in around 1988. It was constructed as a metal frame with a corrugated metal roof and walls.

It includes dressing rooms, a projection room, and two separate large performance spaces, used to display shows such as ‘House of Commons’, ‘Magic’ and ‘3D’.

The House of Commons show was based around an impressive set of the famous debating chamber – which, like the Downing Street set in the Bonded Warehouse, was used for the filming of The New Statesman.

In 2002, former Coronation Street script editor, Paul Abbott, bought the House of Commons set for use in his TV drama, State of Play, and later stored it in a barn. It was since kept at Wimbledon Studios in London, where it was used in The Iron Lady (2011), but subsequently removed from the studios in 2015. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

The theatre is connected to the subterranean Arches via a lift. The interconnecting staircase has since been covered and although accessible from below, no longer leads into the building.

Like the Breeze Studio in the Breeze Gardens, this building was more recently used for interactive game programmes – specifically, for the production of Bingo Night Live in 2008.

The site of the building will house ‘The Factory’, a brand new theatre and arts venue, due for completion in 2020.



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