Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…an urban explorer

Most people in Edinburgh know of the Old Odeon Cinema/The New Victoria. It’s a big fancy building on Clerk Street dating back to 1930. It closed as a cinema in 2003 and was used as a festival venue at least once. I saw Richard Herring there, his show starring an ex-colleague of mine.

I used to walk past this place on a daily basis thinking it was a shame that it was closed but with the rumours that it was a listed building and nothing was happening I didn’t ever expect to go in it again.

Urban explorers are people who visit disused buildings and sites to have a look around something that’s generally off limits.

Dave had spoken before of his friend who had been in the Odeon and found it incredible. Armed with his knowledge, a camera, a mini torch, an iPhone torch and his girlfriend we made our way to the cinema.

New Victoria/Odeon cinema, Edinburgh

It was an incredible thing to do and an incredible place to see. If not for Dave’s friend having done it, I think we would’ve been a bit put off by how we had to get in which is probably why no homeless people have made it in to stink the place up.

The rest of the photos are on Flickr. I would like to point out that it really was pitch black in there, but the flash on the camera was tremendous so you can see things really clearly, much more clearly than we could at the time.

Image of exterior source: http://www.buildingsatrisk.org.uk/BAR/detail.aspx?sctID=2259 (which also suggests there might be a chance of something happening with it at some point).

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3 Responses

  1. Dave w says:

    My showbiz career has all been downhill from there, ex-colleague.

  2. Gavin Dougan says:

    Interested in how you got in here… Looks brilliant for photos. I take it wasn’t done legally?

    • Oliver says:

      I think ‘legally’ is a bit fuzzy because of the confusion over the ‘there’s no trespassing law in Scotland’ thing. We didn’t break into it or anything, just jumped over a fence/gate (round the back – Buccleuch Street?) then there was a staircase that went down into the building. We had to crawl under some floorboards to get into the main cinema (roomier than it sounds) and there are loads of chairs and things people have put there before to help climb/get down. This was all a few years ago, so it might have changed, but it was quite easy to do back then. If you do go, make sure you take a torch with you. Although it looks light in the photo, that camera just had an amazing flash. You can see me holding a small torch in a lot of the photos.

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