Cinema of sin: London's old Scala picturehouse

The antics were X-rated – on screen and in the audience. Tony Paley remembers the sleazy heyday of London's Scala cinema

The Scala cinema is dead: long live the Scala. The last ticket stub at London's legendary picture house was torn 18 years ago, but like the zombies that often haunted its screen, its influence on movie culture refuses to die.

A seven-week celebration of the cinema, reliving its famous all-nighters and trash/horror/arthouse double and triple bills, begins later this month. The Scala Forever season will feature 111 films screened at 26 London venues, some of them selected and introduced by the film industry people who frequented what became known as the Sodom Odeon in the 80s and early 90s. (Highlights include Tilda Swinton introducing The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which she first saw at the Scala.)

As well as celebrating the King's Cross venue, organisers hope to draw attention to some of the cinemas,
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