Pictures that show fading glory of city's former Palace Theatre
THESE revealing pictures show the Dance Academy nightclub as it has never seen before, and may never been seen again.
The images, which were sent in to The Herald, show parts of the former Palace Theatre that have never been in print and some reveal its state of disrepair.
Some of the pictures, which were taken in mid-2008, show club owner Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh's living area and the state in which it has been left since being shut down after a huge drugs raid in May 2006.
Areas which regular club-goers would never have had access to are also shown for the first time, including an electrics room, coat storage area, the VIP room, and some of Bahmanzadeh's living quarters.
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Some other pictures reveal how badly the club has suffered with damp and show evidence of leaking roofs and rot.
The photographer described the condition of the grade two listed building: "It smells of damp wood, carpets and old beer. You can hear water dripping down from the roof into the main dance floor area with a fair-sized puddle on the floor next to a pile of rubber gloves and other rubbish.
As you walk around the site you can easily make out where the old Palace Theatre was and the modern Dance Academy takes over," he said.
While touring the empty rooms the photographer was always wary of the building's deterioration: "There is the odd floor board that does not feel safe and a little creaky under foot. All the floors felt safer than I thought they were going to be," he said.
Many parts of the club appear to have been frozen in time with the club's upper rooms and drinking areas left to gather dust with empty bottles and beer crates left on the bar, while other rooms look cleaner, as if someone has been in to move items out.
"It's not until you start making your way to the upper floors and into what was once the accommodation area that it becomes more obvious that it was either raided or people left in a hurry," he said.
The pictures show there are still items left behind, such as game consoles, games, videos, beds, bedding, paper work, computer items and files, and even food left in the cupboards, the photographer claims.
He also found evidence of dogs living in the building with dog bowls and leads lying around.
The exterior of the club has not escaped the effects of the weather with a lack of regular maintenance allowing rotten window frames and glass to fall away letting rain and birds enter the upper floors and turrets. The brickwork and guttering of the building is crumbling with plants, weeds and small trees growing up the sides of the walls.
Protesters campaigning for the release of the "Plymouth Two" gathered outside the Dance Academy. Filmed October 30, 2008.