John Sturgis

The importance of London’s lost cinema

Scala defined a generation

  • From Spectator Life

King’s Cross in the eighties was the scabbiest, dodgiest, scariest and most alternative place in central London – and the crumbling Scala cinema was its beating heart. Memories of this long-shut venue are being revived by the imminent release of a feature-length documentary tracing its brief, colourful history.

The film is named after the cinema but its lengthy subtitle signals the kind of material it depicts: Scala!!! Or, the incredibly strange rise and fall of the world’s wildest cinema and how it influenced a mixed-up generation of weirdos and misfits.

I’ve been back to The Scala to see bands there since.

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