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My heart bloated up for the new live city and unprecedented smells. This is something I thought I might know but I never could have imagined the complete essence of it, the burning core of it and how everything sticks to everything, especially when everyone is so close on a muggy luminous evening. Suntanned we go pressing for the new lines – just built and reeking of youthful rubber and plastic. A dash of late arrivals on this LED, burns bright when the photos are taken, and many of them are. The general tint is orange. These untapped lands, spreading out on the ginormous map and I’m falling off the edges, the bits I can’t see as they are so peripheral, going behind the turn of the horizon. Buildings pop up on this infant metalscape, which will, of course, be different next time I see it. It will then have other dimensions, transfigured by the drape of light, the almost-black structures losing their looming aspect in the daytime, losing the intimidating lights. Bluster on the new lines. Fury in this sticky summer, reeking just like the tarmacked outsides, sort of exactly how I imagined it might. Our faces are still so young, and we don’t even know each other yet. There’s a chance we might soon but I don’t know that, don’t even think it could be a possibility. I fall into these mightily sweat-flooded lines, adapting the mindset to only this, a niche little enclave where I paintbrush out all the outside mud-baked and terrific chaos. I manufacture a pocket; it is perfect. Even the unwanted bits – “who-the-fuck-are-you” glances, arrogant geezers breezing past in the queue, bad jokes – they are perfect too. Behind the confusion and the shopping arcades I am almost there. Rotating shadows in the red-haloed bigrooms. Me spinning in it all too, and the girls twirling and rising and falling, with the ubiquit-indie on tinny speakers, and everything becomes blurry, but more lifelike still. This happens a lot of the time.

What appears to be an early gas-lamp bracket can be seen in this modern photo. The cinema was a business venture of Montagu Pyke, who was described as “London’s most notable and notorious early cinema entrepreneur”.

Five years earlier he opened the Pleasure Land cinema at 26 Station Road, Brixton in 1906.

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© Copyright 2016 John Maher