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Inverness nostalgia: Five things people of Inverness miss about the 80s

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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The La Scala cinema was one of three big screen venues Inverness film lovers could enjoy at one time.
The La Scala cinema was one of three big screen venues Inverness film lovers could enjoy at one time.

While the 80s may only seem like yesterday for many city locals, it's hard to believe that it was over four decades ago, so we have taken a look back through memory lane to see what the people of Inverness miss about that bodacious time in history.

From quirky fashion to flip phones, Pac-Man and roller-skates, the 80s was an exciting era for many people. And closer to home, some parts of Inverness high street have changed beyond recognition since then, with many shops, bars and restaurants no longer in business.

We have trawled through the picture achieves to bring you back to a few things the people of Inverness have said that they miss about Inverness in the 80s.

First on the list is Pentangle that was in Baron Taylor's St. This shop was around for years and soon became known as 'the only place you needed to complete all your Christmas shopping'. Pentangle was an all-rounder shop, packed full of fun knick-knacks, playful and original gifts, in addition a fantastic place to occupy the children.

Claire Ann Ross said: "I used to run from the bus station between busses from Edinburgh heading to Caithness when I was at college in the 90s, would get half an hour or an hour to browse there or Pandoras box before legging it back for the next bus."

Another treasure of the city centre was La Scala, which was situated on the corner of Academy Street, and is now well known as the city's bus station. The profound picture house opened in 1913 and lasted almost 100 years, closing in January 2001.

Many Inverness residents shared fond memories of the iconic cinema, as they remember first dates, passing the time away on a rainy day and watching blockbuster classics, such as Top Gun, for the very first time.

Morven MacDonald said: "I remember waiting for my mum to finish her shopping in town, so my friend and I ran into the cinema to watch two movies in a row. We didn't care what was on, we just loved it there!

"Bring La Scala back to the town centre please!"

Next on the list is Carlton Restaurant and Bar, that was situated in Inglis Street, which originally opened in the 1930s and is now a Costa Coffee.

This one of a kind gem was an expert at creating a fun atmosphere for locals to come along and dance in, whilst enjoying a flamboyant cocktail or glass of wine.

Kathleen Budge said: "I had many good memories at the Carlton Bar, especially at the traditional ceilidh night, it was lots of fun."

Record Rendezvous was a beloved favourite for all the Inverness music fanatics in the 80s and was along Church Street. This place was a musical heaven for many locals, with an entire library of records stacked from the ceiling to the floor. From original classics to breaking singles, this place had it all.

Vivienne Rodgers fondly remembers the record shop as she said: "I used to pop in there to look at chart LPs and Singles, then pop into the Wimpy for a treat with my friends."

Finally, Woolworths, that was in the spotlight of the High Street, opened in 1926 and sadly closed decades later in 2008.

Woolworths, Inverness
Woolworths, Inverness

The shop was well known for is buzzing atmospheric nature and fantastic parties that kept customers flowing through the door constantly.

One person who used to work at the shop said: "We always had fab parties. Some in store. Always trying to keep an eye on the young ones… they were always smarter than us.

"Many couples got together there, and lots of life-long friends made and still going strong. I have fabulous, happy memories of a non-related family."

Overall, it's fair to say that Inverness has loved and lost many thriving businesses since the 80s, and with some of which the community continues to hold close to their hearts.

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