“Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.”

February 25, 2009

That’s a quote from Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in Jurassic Park: The Lost World. I’m shamelessly pinching it and applying it to the Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus. Read these reviews and you’ll get the idea. It’s an indoor arcade/shopping centre/food hall but it seems to have been crunched, with half the stalls covered in sheets. You can bungee jump here, get a sepia photograph taken, dressed like Wyatt Earp; you can buy a cup of corn for a £1. But nobody is doing any of these things. The favourite pastime at the Trocadero is hanging around.

The escalators are a fun ride. Get on the wrong one and you end up missing a floor. Get on this one… well.

trocadero-1There used to be a bowling alley in the Trocadero. I never went but I’m guessing it might have been up there. Now, this escalator is blocked off with a gaming machine. I think there might be some people up there; Trogladytes. Or, rather, Trocladytes. C.H.U.D.’s. Or, rather, C.H.O.D.’s. I may be wrong. But would you go up there?

There is a film by Tobe Hooper called The Funhouse. Pay to get in, pray to get out. I saw this in 1981 and my abiding memory is of a character in a Frankenstein mask who assists at the Funhouse (more like a ghost train). Late on in the film his mask is ripped off, and underneath the easy horror of a Frankenstein mask he is hideously deformed. I think he lives up here now.



3 Responses to ““Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.””

  1. Andrea said

    I used to work in the Trocadero. My first job in London Town was assistant manager of The Emaginator, which was like it sounds, only not as good. Back then there was, indeed, a bowling alley. I’m sad to hear that it’s gone :-(. Although it’s great that the sepia, dressing-up olde tyme photographer’s is still there. Clearly.

  2. Trevor Neal said

    If The Funhouse freak does live up there, the potential for exploiting the poor fellow even more and turning around the fortunes of the Trocadero is huge. Turn the place into the ultimate thrill experience – like the Alien one that was also once at the Trocadero. You pay a fiver – Freaky Funhouse chases you around in the dark – lots of thrills – lots of screams – then you slip on a slice of pizza in a cup – and never see the lights of Piccadilly again!

  3. […] was back at the Trocadero yesterday, on my way to see The Unborn. The other day at the Trocadero I had taken some photographs of a sinister abandoned escalator leading up to an unilluminated […]

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