Halle Place Arndale Manchester
ISG completed work on Halle Place in 2018

‘Digital arcade’ approved for Arndale

Dan Whelan

The founders of Tough Mudder, which organises cross country assault course races, have received approval for plans to bring their latest venture to the North West. 

Electronic Theatre is a digital gaming experience that provides immersive team challenges in interactive rooms called LightBoxes. 

The feature will occupy a 3,000 sq ft unit at the £11m Halle Place food quarter within the Manchester Arndale shopping centre, alongside burger restaurant Archies, coffee bar Kiosk, Italian street food outlet Wolf and PizzaLuxe, which leased a 2,000 sq ft unit in February.  

Will Dean and David Spindler are behind the Electronic Theatre brand, which aims to “bring people together through shared play”. There is currently only one other branch of the digital entertainment brand – in London’s South Bank.

The rooms combine projection mapping, touch screens, motion tracking and surround sound technologies to create an entirely new form of digital group entertainment, according to a planning statement prepared by Pegasus Group, the consultancy advising on the plans. 

Chapman Taylor is the architect for the project.

Electronic Theatre is the latest leisure tenant to take space in the Arndale after Roxy Leisure set about converting the 14,000 sq ft former Birdcage nightclub into a Roxy Lanes venue, its second in the city centre. 

The Arndale is owned by Intu and M&G Real Estate, and JLL and Metis Real Estate are the letting agents for Halle Place, which was completed by contractor ISG in 2018. 

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What a disaster Halle Place has been

By Dan

Absolute disaster. No further food businesses are interested, so they are just leasing to anyone now. It was a ridiculous idea to create another food hall there in the first place. Complete waste of time. Don’t get me started on that ridiculous stair and escalator combination either!

By Steve

The Arndale should have relocated the tenants in the existing foodhall to Halle Place, eventually knocking down the link over Market Street. A third food hall was never needed.

By x

Good luck to them. One of the world’s ugliest central city malls can’t fill up space around their failed food hall so is trying something else. Let’s hope their plans are a bit more thought out than their escalators which are now being used by designers around the world to teach others how *not* to design.


The Arndale has been a blot on the Manchester landscape since it was built in the 1970s it is now time to stop trying to polish the you know what and take more radical action including demolition.

By Lenny68

Getting rid of that arch above Market Street and moving the restaurants down into the main bit is a defo.

And then get rid of the tower.

By Anonymous

For the good of Manchester, the Arndale Centre NEEDS to be demolished.


Always thought the escalator with stairs at the bottom was a ridiculous design. What were you designers thinking of?
And still no seating for shoppers to take a rest whilst shopping…..shame if you owners of Arndale. Rethink and get it sorted.

By David Robinson

Shock horror, nobody wants to eat their food in a horrible 1960s germ-ridden mall when there are far nicer options like the Corn Exchange, Mackie Mayor and surrounding streets on offer.

The Arndale needs demolishing for the good of Manchester. This is something the council should be enforcing through SRFs

By Anonymous

MCC love the Arndale, the longer it’s there the less people will notice what a dump the rest of Manchester is too


The problem is what happen to all the retailers during the demolition? I still think the Arndale could be made much better than it is, including a total re-cladding of the tower. However, if you look at the present state of retail on the high street, added to the fact that it would cost hundreds of millions to do properly….its never going to happen.

By Manc Man