Secret Cinema founder takes over ghostly south London department store

Note: This story has been edited to remove references to the Secret Cinema.

Secret Cinema founder Fabien Riggall has made a name for himself by keeping the exact nature of their immersive events and venues a secret. His latest venture has just started: it’s called Lost and will transform the historic Allders building in Croydon into an arts and entertainment space.

The plan is to use the ground and first floors of the former department store, transforming the former emporium into a multidisciplinary venue “celebrating art, entertainment and retail” and a community center .

“The goal of Lost… is to reinvent the exhibition and distribution of physical experiences, designing a new format of entertainment,” says Riggall. “A disruptive force destined to regenerate forgotten shopping streets and overthrow the current system, [it] will build a new subculture bringing together local and international artists in a globally unique community.

Continues the official press release: ‘[it will offer] a new community center for residents and visitors to congregate and interact in the real world. Lost will generate thousands of job opportunities in the region over the next five years.

Lost promises to “redefine culture, reframe space and build a new form of art”, transforming high streets and disused malls into “magical environments designed to bring people from all walks of life together”.

As Croydonians will attest, the Allders Building has been gathering dust since the department store came into operation in 2012. It has stood empty since Westfield development plans were scrapped in 2021.

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