It's no secret that we love a good exploitation cinema here at Abertoir - in fact we even themed a whole festival around them a few years back when we looked at New York's 42nd Street. But what of more home-grown gems? London was home to our very own jewel in the crown of exploitation exhibition with the Scala, an exceptionally atmospheric repertory cinema with its mysteriously rumbling auditorium and resident cats. People travelled from all over the country to have their minds blown by its alchemical mix of double-bills and all-nighters, specialising in horror, cult movies, kung fu, LGBT+, psychotronic and unclassifiable films. Over a million people went through the doors of the Scala, and its reputation spread far and wide.
If Abertoir ever ran own our cinema, the Scala is pretty much what we would aspire to! We're delighted to be welcoming Scala programmer Jane Giles to share with us some fantastic and shocking tales of the challenges trying to operate a cinema that pushed against the limits of public acceptability and other strictures during a turbulent period of film history.