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A lil bit of history...
The Manchester Apollo was originally opened in 1930, purpose built to be a cinema and a variety hall. The Apollo carried this service on to the public right up until 1970, which was when the cinema industry began to decline.
The Apollo is now a listed building, with a capacity of 3500.
The Apollo today...
Inside there are three bars, the ground floor with two and the second level has one. Entering you come into the lobby where merchandise is sold (just on the left). The ceiling is a distinctive and unforgetable red with a raked floor allowing an excellent view of the stage from anywhere in the auditorium.
Split into two levels upstairs being permanetely fitted seated area, with the larger down stairs with removeable seating to suit the event.
Being built back in 1930 and being a listed building there is no air conditioning in the auditorium (with the excpetion of a hospitality room know as the white room). As with all public buildings in the UK this is a non smoking venue and once your inside you won't be allowed to leave for a quick nicotine fix (personally a bonus to me, nothing worse than being sat next someone who is up and down all the time!!!).
Parking is very limited and the car parks in the surrounding area aren't exactly the best and most definately not the most desirable, but access is widely available with buses from the city centre.
Today it is used as a venue for all kinds of concerts and gigs, and is inbetween Machester's other two big venues M.E.N. Arena and Academy.
The M.E.N. is a huge venue and in my experience can sometimes lack in atmosphere where as the Academy is a smaller venue than the Apollo but can be too small making it difficult to get tickets or you'll find the bigger bands and acts won't play there.
For me the Apollo is the perfect happy medium between these two a good sized venue of upto 3500 (2514 standing downstairs and 986 seated upsatirs and 2693 for an all seated event) which always seems to get the best acts but its not too big to create an intimate atmosphere.
I'v seen a number of different acts here see the list below-
Dirty pretty things (standing)
Babyshambles x2 (standing)
Paul Weller (standing)
Kings of Leon (standing and still to date the best gig i've ever been to)
Jimmy Carr (seated)
Chris Rock (seated)
Michty Boosh Live (seated)
Last Shadow Puppets (standing)
Kate Nash (standing)
Russell Brand (seated)
Roy Chubby Brown (seated)
Pidgeon Detectives (standing)
The Fratellis (seated)
So as you can see from the list the artist that play here are varied so i'm sure there will be something for everyone, i would definitely say try and get standing tickets if available because then you can right in the middle of the atmosphere if you choose to.