They're also under threat from the authorities, who see them as stains on the local area. When I contacted him in January, local councillor Paul Convery said, "Islington Council is determined to see these establishments closed down. They are badly run and this was demonstrated when we prosecuted all three for significant breaches of licence conditions."
A little under a decade ago, the same focus might not have been given to the clubs – back when City Road was just a dark hinterland linking Angel to the Old Street roundabout. However, now it's lined with shiny new apartments, office buildings and Jamie Oliver restaurants, the council have more to protect. These side effects of gentrification – a creeping civic conservatism – are being felt all over London; in December of 2013, for example, 200 police officers carried out a high profile raid on over 22 sex establishments in Soho – brothels, peep shows and strip clubs. Many were closed, and it looks like the same thing is set to happen in Islington.
Councillor Convery described the cinemas as "sleazy", adding, "We’re not being prudish, we’re reflecting public opinion." It probably doesn't help that an undercover inspector at Mr B’s – before its recent revamp, where they gave it a lick of paint and introduced new membership cards – reportedly observed six men masturbating during an undercover visit. The inspector himself was allegedly touched on the thigh.
Interesting article about the Abcat Cine Club and Oscars on Caledonian Rd.