London Experience

Trocadero Centre, 13 Coventry Street,
London, W1D 7DH

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‘The London Experience’ was a multi-media presentation displaying the history of London. It was presented by impressario Bernard Delfont in the ‘new’ Trocadero Centre, Coventry Street in London’s West End. A very small modern auditorium. Opened in the mid-1970-s and closed in 1989.

Contributed by Ian Howells

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Does this merit listing as a “cinema treasure?” It was never a cinema, and similar to the ill-fated “New York Experience” in that American city. Movies were not shown there.

Doolally
Doolally on May 11, 2008 at 9:02 am

To a certain extent I agree, but on the other hand, the Troc complex is a former cinema complex.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 11, 2008 at 9:07 am

The Trocadero still has a cinema.

/theaters/16993/

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 11, 2008 at 9:10 am

There was also the small cinema on the side street.

/theaters/2582/

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on May 12, 2008 at 2:25 am

Sorry Warren!!!
You must have posted that comment many, many times on this site then.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 12, 2008 at 7:44 am

There was also a short-lived IMAX inside the Trocadero that may have used this same space.

keiths
keiths on June 17, 2008 at 4:33 am

The multi-media show was produced by Robin Prater – one of the leading exponents in the AV field – and, if my memory serves me well, MAY actually have involved the use of at least one movie projector as well as 56 Kodak carousel slide projectors showing 46mm superslides. The whole lot was controlled from a multi-track tape via Electrosonic
equipment. I also seem to remember that it used to live in the former ‘Lyons Corner House’ before it went into the newly converted Trocadero. It had operated very successfully in it’s original home, which I believe became part of the Troc, but never really took off in its new home – mind you, neither did most of the OTHER attractions which found their way in there!

colinking
colinking on January 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Not truly a cinema but it did show a movie…… albeit the same one over and over about 20 times a day.
I joined The London Experience as a projectionist / technician in 1983, or was it 1984? Shortly after it opened.(Old man, memory problems)
There were five 3m x 3m screens, side by side. Each screen served by six Kodak 2010 carousel projectors loaded with 46mm superslides and retro fitted with auto lamp changers. Each bank of six projectors was controlled by an Electrosonic “box” which could step forward or back, home the carousel and fade the lamp at controlled speeds. Rapidly stepping and fading all of the projectors could produce an impressive “moving” effect. There was a movie projector. A Philips, Kineton FP20 fitted with an anamorphic lens covered the centre three screens. 35mm filmstock ran in an endless loop, starting and stopping at various points in the presentation and blended with the carousel content. Optical stereo sound from the film was mixed with a five channel soundtrack (FL,C,FR,RL,RR)from a Studer A80 (1", 8 track)tape machine. Six 18" JBL speakers lurked behind the screens with two more at the rear of the auditorium. Amplification was four Quad 405-2 and an Ampex (or was it Ampeg?)Two 36" EV speakers in custom housings provided bass effects such as WW2 bombs. A theatre lighting rig provided further effects with photoflashes and flame and cloud effects which would be projected over the entire auditorium. Add a smoke machine for fog and smoke effects. A single button push started the show with everything from that point controlled by data tracks on the Studer.The presentation lasted 35 minutes. Tape auto rewound and everything synced ready restart 5 minutes later.
The last year of it’s life was blighted by jackhammers and a leaky roof caused by construction work as the building was extended upwards. Finally closed in 1989 but by that time in dire need of content upgrade. My last job was decommissioning and removing everything. I’ll find a few key photos and post them somewhere.

glyn_lewis
glyn_lewis on November 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I remember the 5 screen presentation (and the smoke effects for The Great Fire of London). It was certainly a cinema of some kind, as much as any location-specific movie presentation. I can confirm keiths observation thst it was first located in the old Lyons Corner House at the corner of Coventry Street & Rupert Street (now Planet Hollywood). Its second home in the Trocadero Centre occupied a space which was later used for the Guinness World of Records, then incorporated into the MGM Trocadero.

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