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London on screen: the cinema from ‘An American Werewolf in London’

By Thomas Hobbs

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.


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