Global Village

Under the Arches, Villiers Street,
London, WC2N 6NG

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Global Village

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Located within the two level deep, Hungerford Arches, which are beneath Charing Cross mainline railway station. Global Village opened in May 1973 as an entertainment complex which included a cinema, two discotheques and a restaurant. It was a members only venue and had a general admission ‘all in’ price of £1.50.

During the daytime a film club (the Arches Film Society) operated in the cinema, which was located in the upper section of the arches. The film "Tales of Mystery and Imagination"(Histoire Extraordinaire) directed by Federico Fellini/Louis Malle & Roger Vadim had its London premier here. After a while the cinema section was open to the general public during the day, but remained part of the members only club during the evenings.

The cinema had closed by 1975 and in 1976 the complex was purchased by Richard Branson, head of the Virgin group of companies. It re-opened as London’s largest gay nightclub ‘Heaven’ which continued operating for 32 years, attracting over 2,000 clubbers every night into its four dance areas. The former cinema auditorium became known as the ‘Star Bar’.

From 11th October 2008, the operators of the former Astroria Theatre, Charing Cross Road, which had been G-A-Y Club for many years, and was under threat of re-development, transfered the venue to Heaven, and re-named it G-A-Y at Heaven.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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