It’s true, it’s sadly all true.

It wasn’t always this way. In the 1990s, the historic building was salvaged for the purpose of creating the biggest “leisure space” in London, packed with a Nickelodeon studios, Pepsi IMAX and its crowning glory, SegaWorld, which was essentially just loads of arcade games and a giant statue of Sonic. It was a feat of uniquely poor planning, and almost immediately developed a rust of crapness. By the Millennium the Trocadero dream was dead: Sega withdrew their sponsorship and SegaWorld was relegated to something called “Funland”, the IMAX vanished, and the escalators stopped moving, never to be effectively repaired. As a final insult, the place was used as a location for the video of Madonna‚Äôs 2005 single, “Hung Up”.

When a friend asked if I wanted to go to Funland before they closed it down a few months back, I declined. It would be like visiting a sad, dejected shadow of a close friend, who refused to acknowledge that the world had moved on. Gone were the days of the Pepsi Max Drop, Quasar laser tag, Segaworld, and the virtual reality arcade in the basement where we weekly blew through our allowances in a VR MechWarrior sim.
Funland was the last vestige of days long past, but, now in my 30s, I’d be damned if I was going to throw money into an old arcade cabinet – I’m sure I have most of those games that I would still want to play on an emulator somewhere anyway. You didn’t go for the games though. You went to be with friends and have a shared experience – something that can’t be done in a ghost town.
The last few times I visited the Trocadero was out of pure, reminiscent nostalgia if I happened to be in the West End.
I was always disappointed.
/via Vice