Do you like corn? Do you like cups? Then you'll love...

Do you like corn? Do you like cups? Then you'll love...

Terror at the Trocadero

March 16, 2009

Not too long ago I wrote about sinister goings on at the Trocadero, London’s fun centre. I worried about what lived up in the dark, and I wrote about Tobe Hooper’s Fun House, where a fairground attraction hides some real horrors. Well, everything I wrote about is coming true. I will be heading back to the Trocadero to experience Pasaje del Terror. And I doubt that I’ll get out. 15 live actors! Not quite as scary as 15 dead ones. But will they be actors? Or hideous freaks from the edges of society? Or Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Jude Law and all the other West End darlings? Or do they all blur into one?

passage-of-terror

The Trocadero revisited

March 1, 2009

trocadero-revisited

I 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 hell-hole where a Funland devil reject possibly dwells. That escalator was the second of two uber-escalators that jump floors and head straight to the dark and abandoned upper limits. Yesterday they had closed down the first too.

As I took this photo I was approached by a security guard. He asked me to stop taking photos. When I asked him why he told me that I was obviously an intelligent man and that the reason was obvious. Those that know me know I only look intelligent.

So I asked again why and he told me that someone could use the photos to plant a bomb. I asked him if he thought I planned to plant a bomb. Why? Was I nuts? Possibly. He was very polite and said no, but the photos could get into the wrong hands. That’s when I told him that the day before I had put photos of the Trocadero up on my blog. I told him thatI didn’t know you couldn’t take photos, there are no signs saying such. He told me that I can take photos, if there are people on them. I asked him to pose… no, not really, I’m not that cheeky. But I did ask him if I would be arrested. Those that know me know that I wasn’t being cheeky here, I’d quite like to be arrested for taking a photo in the Trocadero. I’d like there to be a Free the Trocadero One campaign. He said he didn’t have the power to arrest me. And that was that. I then went to see The Unborn which wasn’t nearly as much fun.

Anyway, there’s the picture above. I should be careful what I type, but I don’t think it’s going to be much use to anyone planning anything other than a “should I go left or right” campaign.

piccadilly-moon

moon over Piccadilly

On my way home I stopped off at Marks and Spencers. It took ages for my card to go through. The woman serving me said “technology eh.” I said I should have paid in cash and she said “I’m sure you love using your card.”

And on the train home a group discussed the Manchester way to wear a scarf. You cross it over, take the outer end and feed it up and under and over the other half… does that make sense? And then pull it across your neck, I guess cravat style. This way all of your neck is warm. The other, more popular way at the moment is to feed the two ends through a loop. This only gives part neck protection.

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.

trocadero-21