Remnants of the last party at the Department nightclub still remain even though the Chesterfield venue closed its doors more than a decade ago.
The DJ booth remains in situ as do the private pods and VIP area where friends gathered for intimate celebrations.
No doubt the owner of the property is hoping for a party of his own when the three-storey building is eventually sold.
The Art Deco-style premises on Cavendish Street has been up for rent, sale and auction since the DJ played the final tune. And with the property failing to meet its reserve price last month, it’s there for the taking at the next online auction on Thursday, May 26, – with a £270,000 price tag plus fees.
Keen to see the building’s potential, the Derbyshire Times was given unrestricted access to roam freely among the maze of little rooms and numerous flights of stairs.
Feeling like urban explorers but staying on the right side of the law, we searched for clues that hinted at the building’s former life. We saw posters on the walls indicating band nights with Take The Seven leading the line-up for October, although the year was missing. An adjacent poster advertised a gig for 2011 while in another room band flyers littered the floor.
The wow factor was on the second floor where a massive dance floor is surrounded on three sides by bars. The DJ booth is in front of a stage and there’s a raised VIP seating area with its own upmarket wood-panelled bar. The walls are painted dark pink and there’s even a colour-coordinated piece of art still on the wall.
Multiple doors leading off the dance hall give access to more little rooms. Scribbled on one of those entrance doors is “Steve the handyman from heaven.”
A heap of red and black rags was shoved under the door of presumably a dressing room judging by the mirror. Curiosity got the better of me and my investigation uncovered a Halloween wall decoration, fashioned to look like a ghost.
Dark nightclubs were the haunt of many a teenager down the generations – but one where the lights have been permanently switched off for a decade is decidedly spooky!
Torchlight guided us back down the stairs and at the staff entrance we found a rolled-up poster for the 2019 film Playing With Fire. It gave an indication of the club’s previous existence as the Regal Cinema even though the poster arrived 16 years too late to be featured in the picture house’s advertising.
To the untrained eye nothing appears to be left of the Regal, although it has been suggested that there is a metal arch relating to the cinema in one of the smaller rooms.
The big question is what will become of the building where household retailer Boyes holds the lease on the ground floor. With its rabbit warren of little rooms, the former nightclub/cinema would be a great place for start-up businesses, offices or even plush apartments.
All eyes will be on next week’s auction. For more details, go to www.sdlauctions.co.uk