Scala has been a fixture of London nightlife for nearly two decades. Here’s what you need to know…
Address: 275 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9NL
Telephone number: 020 7833 2022 (Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm)
Opened in 1920 as the King’s Cross Cinema, closed down in 1993 and reopened as a concert venue in 1999.
How many people does it hold?
800 for a gig and 1,145 as a club.
Who has played there?
Scala has an impressive and varied alumni list. This includes everyone from Coldplay, The Killers and Maroon 5 to Super Furry Animals, The Chemical Brothers Nine Inch Nails, Run DMC and Avril Lavigne.
Have there been any “I was there” moments?
There are so many to choose from, like when Pink was a rising superstar and played in 2002 opening with “Get The Party Started”. Another amazing night was when the Gorillaz played in 2001.
A particular highlight was when the Foo Fighters came to town. MTV filmed this Foo Fighters special in Scala in 2000:
How do I get there?
Kings Cross is the nearest train station and is on the Picadilly, Victoria, Northern, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City and Circle lines.
Where to park:
It’s London. Get the tube.
Where should I eat?
Pizza Union is a TicketWeb favourite, it’s a stones-throw away from Scala at 246-250 Pentonville Road and you can get a delicious 12 inch Superfast Pizza for around six quid. Perfect fuel for a night of live music.
Where can I stay?
Scala is in such a good location that there are hundreds of great places to stay in close proximity. There are hotels, hostels and regular/air BnB’s a plenty.
Make sure you have somewhere to rest your weary head.
If getting as close to the stage as possible isn’t your style. Keep wandering up the stairs to get to the top balcony, there should be plenty of space up there and it’s an ideal vantage point no matter who’s playing.
Where can you carry on the party?
The Lexington just up Pentonville Road is a great spot. It’s a Kentucky tinged London Boozer with a Rock ‘n’ Roll feel to it. They’ve got an ace selection of craft beers and rockin’ tunes.
We caught up with Suzanne Bradish – events assistant at Scala to quiz her about the famous venue. Check out the Q&A below:
What drinks do you serve? A selection of beers, wines, soft drinks and spirits.
Tell us something no one knows about your venue. The iconic image on the front of Lou Reed’s Transformer was taken at Scala by Mick Rock.
Have there been any backstage incidents or drama? Nothing that we could ever divulge. 😉
What is the strangest rider request you have had to provide for an artist? We don’t generally provide the rider but we did have an artist request that all the heating be left on for two hours prior to their arrival on a baking hot day in July once.
Who is the dream act you would like to perform at your venue? And why? After Ronnie Wood played a few songs on our stage last year we’re keeping our fingers crossed for The Rolling Stones.
What happens in the venue when concerts aren’t on? We have club nights on most Fridays and Saturdays. There is also a Sound Engineering course that’s run from the venue. we are also often using on film and photo shoots.
What advice would you give to an aspiring venue manager? Sleep when you can!
Tell us about: (1) your most stressful and (2) most fun nights on the job. The big events that require lots of extra production can be stressful as weeks and weeks of work goes into this one day, but they always end up being super fun too, especially when everything falls into place on the night without any hiccups.
How did you come to be managing the venue? I started with a job selling tickets in the Box Office and worked my way up for there.
Does the building have any interesting history? It was a Primatarium for a year before it became a cinema.
Check out www.ticketweb.co.uk/Scala your one stop shop for every upcoming show in Scala.