I had come across the “Odditorium” by accident. Researching some rental space in Newcastle, I had come across the Renew Newcastle initiative which gave life to the dying CBD of Newcastle. The project places small, fresh businesses into the vacant spaces with low rental agreements….revitalising the inner city until genuine, long term lease holders come along.
I had previously come to the Odditorium only to find it closed. Looking through the windows I could see the array of relics and monsters captured in this small basement shop. Hiding amongst the records and bric-a-brac, I couldn’t wait to get inside. Not to photograph, but just to look.
The shop sits in a basement studio in Thorn Street, Newcastle. Adjacent to the old Masonic Hall which stands empty and foreboding in this quiet laneway running down to the Hunter Street Mall.
The shop is perfectly placed. This quiet thoroughfare, overlooked by the ancient Cathedral and its convict graveyard and the Masonic Hall suits the eclectic little business. It would be out of place in a busy shopping centre or major thoroughfare.
I told my kids to make sure they didn’t touch anything….the owner Naomi heard me and said…”They can touch anything..” . It is a place where you want to touch everything…
When you get inside you see there is stuff everywhere, vinyl records, retro goods and clothes, stuffed animals, skulls and religious oddities. An aptly named shop.
I didn’t intend to go there and take photos, but as I always have a camera with me, I took a few quick snaps. Not too many, didn’t want to upset the monsters….
I really suggest a visit.