The most infamous and influential of all UK cinemas, the Scala's iconic programmes tell their own unique story about culture and society between 1978-1993, a post-punk / pre-internet period of significant change. The Scala rose from the ashes of a defunct socialist collective on the site of an ancient concert hall and theatre in Fitzrovia. Pushed out of its premises by the arrival of Channel 4 television in 1981, the Scala moved to the Primatarium, a former picture palace and one-time rock venue within spitting distance of King's Cross station.
An exceptionally atmospheric repertory cinema with its mysteriously rumbling auditorium and resident cats, people travelled to the Scala from all over the country to have their minds blown by its alchemical mix of Hollywood classics and cult movies, horror, Kung Fu, LGBT+, animation, silent comedy, Psychotronic and unclassifiable films, combined with live gigs and music club nights. Over a million people went through the doors of the Scala, and its reputation spread far and wide.
A lone operator, the Scala closed down in 1993 following a perfect storm of lease expiry, the ravages of the recession... and a devastating court case. 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the first Scala programme and 25 years since the cinema's closure, an ideal time to take stock of a legacy which includes many of today's most exciting filmmakers, who've credited the Scala's influence on their work. A weighty coffee table tome produced at an oversized page format of 375mm x 300mm, Scala Cinema 1978-1993 features the complete collection of all 178 monthly programmes plus photographs and ephemera. It is also an in-depth and often outrageous time-travelling history uncovering its deep roots and taking the reader behind the scenes of the Scala. The book is a must-have for fans of this legendary cinema, and will appeal anyone interested in film or the story of the 1980s.