One of the regular gripes you will hear when wandering through the streets of Doncaster is the number of empty and abandoned shops and buildings.
For whatever reason, there are plenty of them around, but there’s one in particular that fascinates me.
And that’s the old ABC Cinema on Cleveland Street.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of its closure and it continues to crumble and gather dust in one of the town centre’s most prominent locations.
Some of the happiest hours of my young and teenage life were spent in there, watching stuff like Back To The Future, Ghostbusters, Clockwise and many more of that ilk.
I’’ve always wanted to revisit and have a look at how the interior of the building looks today – and see if it is just as a I recall it.
I’m reliably informed that such desires are known as “urbexing” or urban exploring.
There are loads of websites and photo albums dedicated to it.
Sadly, in my role, sneaking in through a roof hatch or scrambling behind a forced wooden panel is not the done thing and several attempts to do it the proper way have proved fruitless.
I’ve been told many times “Not right now, maybe in a month or two” - and then the trail has gone cold again.
But since its closure in 1992, this pleasure palace – which incidentally opened in 1967 – has remained untouched and unloved.
I’ve always thought that a developer with multi-millions would have the lolly and nouse to turn it into a live music venue akin to Sheffield’s )2 Academy and which could attract some top flight bands as well as helping to revitalise a building that is now something of an eyesore.
And to make it the all-round entertainment complex, with live bands in the main auditorium and perhaps a comedy club, open mic night or small independent cinema in the other two screens, would be a wonderful thing for the town.
Of course, for all I know, the interior of the building might be so badly decayed or dangerous that such plans are pie in the sky.
I’m certainly no building planner or developer, just a bit of a dreamer with an idea that will no doubt ever come to fruition.
But if someone out there connected to the old ABC and Cannon (I know its in the hands of the owners of Waterdale) wants to give me a guided tour before the year is out, I’d consider it an honour and a pleasure.
Who knows, maybe someone somewhere might see its potential and realise my dreams, which are nothing more than back of fag packet talk down the pub.
Who’s going to help me achieve my Dragon’s Den style plan? Or do I just have to win the lottery? Ah well, I’ll always have ET and my popcorn from 1982, if nowt else.
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