Girl in a Discotheque found

Ahead of our exhibition of David Chadwick’s images of Manchester night spots in the early 1980s, we’re excited to announce that (with the help of the Manchester Evening News) we’ve tracked down the mysterious lady in his iconic picture, Girl in a Discotheque. The photograph is a key part of Cornerhouse’s history, as it appeared in our very first exhibition and the first issue of our brochure.

Paula Hilton, who’s now 54 and lives in Hale Barns, was a regular on the Manchester club scene throughout the 1980s, and often started her evening at Fallowfield’s Sandpiper Club where David’s picture was taken. She’d then go on to clubs including Applejacks and the Hacienda, and also worked at Fagin’s nightclub and Peter Stringfellow’s Millionaire’s Club. In the same period she had a side-line in winning beauty contests, so our appeal wasn’t the first time she’d seen her picture in the paper!

David Chadwick captured images of Manchester nightclubs as sub-cultures like punks and later New Romantics were emerging and inventing their own style. Manchester in the early 80s was in transition, with young people taking over its dis-used warehouses to create spaces in which to be creative and connect with others like them. We’re thrilled to have made contact with Paula, who has shared a wealth of recollections of those times. We caught up with her over a coffee…

David Chadwick/ We Were All Here, Once runs at Cornerhouse in our Cafe Bar as part of Cornerhouse Projects between Thu 3 Oct – Tue 5 Nov. Join us for the launch of the exhibition on Thu 3 Oct between 17:30 -19:00 in the downstairs bar.