Did you know that one of the key locations for ’80s horror classic ‘An American Werewolf in London’ is now a branch of Gap? Here’s a look behind the scene…
The location: Eros Cinema, Piccadilly Circus.
The scene: David Kessler – an American backpacker by day and werewolf by night – is cursed to see the undead souls of his victims. Towards the end of the film, he spots the rotting corpse of his murdered friend Jack Goodman leading him towards a grimy porno theatre. Inside are all the Londoners he has murdered in his wolf form. Yes, this is quite a weird film.
Then: In the early ’80s, the Eros Cinema was right in the middle of London’s red-light district. ‘You went there to catch a racy European arthouse flick,’ says architecture critic Ellis Woodman. ‘This area was associated with sex and a lot more derelict than it is today.’
Now: The Eros Cinema is no more: it closed in 1985 and the site now houses a Gap store (currently covered in scaffolding). ‘An American Werewolf in London’ perfectly captures a time where Piccadilly Circus was less a tourist hub, more an extension of seedy Soho.
For more of the city on screen, check out our list of the 30 best London movies.