I don’t venture into the West End anything like as often as I used to and so I was bit shocked a while back to be wandering across Leicester Square and see in the corner … nothing. The Swiss Centre – the meeting point for so many ventures into Chinatown and the like was gone. The sign on the hoardings warned me what was to come but now it is made flesh and that esoteric patch of London now looks like so many other new builds. Oh look, a glass fronted executive development of stuff.
The old Swiss Centre was hard to love, what with its annoying clock that chimed forever but it did have a stupendously daft cinema that was accessible via a lift to level 3 and then into an overheated foyer. One of the screens even had a chrome bar that obscured the screen if you sat in the wrong place. It was here that I saw one of the oddest films of all time – Of Freaks and Men. Nowadays if you want to watch sepia tinted silent movies of Russians pretending to be Victorian bondage enthusiasts you have to go on YouTube. Call that progress?
Whether you do or not you can see this photo large here.