By Rory Reynolds
A CINEMA is asking customers to smell their auditorium before they buy tickets – because of a terrible stench.
The famous Cameo cinema in Edinburgh has been plagued with a vile smelling pong for nearly a month.
It has been so bad it left some movie-goers feeling a bit queasy.
There was even fears that a body may have been stashed away somewhere in the historic building.
Movie buff Brian McGlone was visiting at the weekend but changed his mind after being invited to have a sniff before buying a ticket.He said: “We were hoping to see a film on Saturday, and it was explained to us when we bought the tickets that we could go in and see if we liked the smell first – because they’ve got problems with the drains.
“They said some people were going in, but I said ‘I don’t think we fancy that’ – especially since my wife has asthma.
He added: “It’s rather ironic that one of the films that’s on is Coco Before Chanel,” – a film about the early years of master perfumer Coco Chanel – famous for creating the whiffy Chanel No.5.”
Ian Hoey, manager at the Cameo, said that the pong had been plaguing the cinema for nearly a month before they finally found the source – drains in a neighbouring building.
He said: “We’ve had signs up – depending on how many people are going in, it’s not always possible to tell everyone individually.
“A few people have declined to go in or asked for refunds – but the majority of the audience have stayed here.”
Staff finally discovered that the source the problem is the drains in the next building along.
Workers at the Cameo – one of the oldest cinemas in Scotland – are currently battling the nasty niff and have closed one of the smaller screens while the fight goes on.
He added: “It’s actually a split in a cast-iron downpipe through the wall of one of our auditoriums.
“It’s not in our premises and it’s not sewage – it’s sink drainage.
“But it’s taken us several weeks, with the help of various contractors, to work out what the problem was.
“It’s been a nightmare – I’ve learned all sorts of things about how pungent the smell of stake water could be.”
Managers have promised punters a much more pleasant ambience by the end of the week.
The Cameo is one of the oldest cinemas in Scotland, dating back to before the First World War in 1914, when it was called the King’s Cinema.