At the time, about 1981, I lived in Kent and when The Ship Inn in Rochester closed on a Friday evening at 2300 a whole convoy of cars made their way up the A2.The DJ Lewisham Lil seemed elderly to me at the time but still filled the dance floor.The great thing there was that as members we had a key for a door connecting with Heaven; many's the time we would strutt our stuff on the Heaven dancefloor before dragging some pretty boy back into the Eagle which was basically a shagfest. Once the chef didn't turn up and Chris dug out a tray of ancient cottage pie from the back of the freezer, sent out for some vegetables and served it up as an 'alternative Sunday lunch'.No one batted an eyelid, even though the prices were pretty high.I chanced on the Stradivarius website and was glued to some of the reminiscences, particularly the Soho Cinema scene.I worked in the Colt at 6 Berwick Street early 1981 until late 1982.The building is now a Gastro pub with the same name and the surrounding area is now all expensive apartments.The other venue I used regularly on a Sunday evening was the Bull and Pump in Shoreditch High Street which had the same late licence as the LA.
I seem to remember that Toni Sinclair was a fairly regular Sunday night artist.
Did you know about the Porchester Hall drag balls, the Giggolo restaurant in the Kings Road, the Bird Cage club at Chalk Farm tube station The Trade cinema in Berwick street upstairs was a sex shop down stairs they showed porn films, when the film ended you rang a bell downstairs and an assistant from upstairs would come down and put a new film on. The Premier Sauna was the only one in town based in Upper St martins Lane was converted into a hotel.
I remember the Biograph as I used to go on sunday afternoons the gays sat in the bottom left side ten rows, and troop off to the toilet walking infront of the screen, which invariably had Rock Hudson and Doris Day films playing.
The first being The Ship And Whale in Gulliver Street in Rotherhithe.
It was a traditional pub with a pool room, disco room and an outside bar and garden.
Was always nusy especially on a Saturday night,with the postage stamp sized dancefloor heaving.