Edinburgh’s Demarco family, who owned Edinburgh institutions Little Marcos and Marcos Leisure Centre, has launched a local campaign asking people to share their photos and memories from their experiences at the infamous 1980’s kids party venue.
Before shutting in 2008, Little Marcos welcomed one million children through its Grove Street doors after opening to the public in 1980 as Scotland’s first indoor soft play area. It was a staple part of growing up for a lot of children in Edinburgh and Central Scotland, being the birthday party destination of choice throughout the 80’s and 90’s.
With the average age of the Little Marcos generation now around 30 years old, Paul Demarco, owner of Marcos Pool Hall, which now sits on the same site, is inviting the birthday boys and girls back to where they celebrated all those years ago.
Paul said: “There won’t be a lot of kids from around these parts who don’t remember Little Marcos. I was a kid when it was in its heyday and, unsurprisingly, all my friends celebrated their birthdays there! Even though much of the original building has now gone, we’ve held on to a lot of the original features from Little Marcos and Marcos Leisure Centre – we even still have the Marco Bear height measure!
“We want people to share their photos or videos with us on social media for the ultimate, if not cringey, throwback celebration. We will post the best ones up on our ‘Wall of Fame’ at Marcos Pool Hall and invite the people who submitted them for a free game of pool and a trip down memory lane.”
For the older generation, in the 1980’s Marcos Leisure Centre was a hub for all new fitness crazes in Scotland, such as squash and step aerobics, with ‘the Boss’ himself, Bruce Springsteen, even choosing to work out there whilst on tour in 1984.
Paul added: “We don’t want to limit this campaign to just Little Marcos. If anyone has any photos of them at the Leisure Centre we would love to see them too, even if it does mean the world gets to see you in lycra – it was fashionable at the time!”
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