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10 Things You Could Do In Dundee In The 1990s That You Can't Do Now

Updated: Apr 29

Dundee is a changing city, and now more than ever before, the city is seeing things come and go.

I recently watched a video of Dundee in 1999. On the radio was an advert for attractions to see and do, and many are still here to this day:

It made me think of the things that were there in the 1990s, that are suddenly not there now. So today, Dundee Culture looks at ten things that you could do in Dundee back in the 1990s, but can't do now.

Boogie and bowl at The Stack Leisure Park


The Megabowl was a popular spot for Dundonians young and old. It was a place for a great day out for families, and having the Zapp Zone and Wimpy onsite was a bonus.


But it was fabulous for the adults too! The nearby Venue nightclub formed a partnership with the Megabowl where you got a discounted price if you visited the bowling before dancing the night away at the club.


The Venue would close in 1994, years before the Megabowl did the same in 2012.


Dundee was left without another bowling alley until only last year, when Tenpin set up in the Kingsway West Retail Park.


Watch films at the Odeon Stack


Another popular spot for Dundonians in the Stack was the Odeon cineplex which opened in 1993 by Jim McTaggart actor Mark McManus.


Many films were watched there, from Jaws, and the Lion King to Jurassic Park, and Nowhere To Run.


The mural which depicted Dundee landmarks and icons was the centrepiece of the complex. It closed in 2001 and was demolished in 2022 to make way for a new Home Bargain’s store at the Stack.


Watch life pass by at the Littlewoods Café


Although the Littlewoods Café is often seen as a meme on Dundee Culture, the café’s window seats provided visitors watch Dundee life pass by each and every day, and it was a place that holds a lot of memories for Dundonians.


The Littlewoods store in the Overgate would close in 2005, with Primark replacing the site that the café was once located.


Throw coins in the Wellgate Fountain


The Wellgate Fountain was a lovely addition to the centre when it was installed in the 1970s. The coins that were thrown in the fountain would then be pulled out and given to charity. The water fountains were a much-loved feature at the centre, however, it closed in the late 1990s.


Play pirates on the Camperdown Ships


The ships at Camperdown Country Park was where you could pretend to play pirates, and the kids absolutely loved it, this was despite safety concerns. The ships helped Camperdown Country Park become the best playpark in the country.


Enjoy delicious ice cream from Jacanoni’s


Jacanoni’s was the go-to stop for shoppers in the Keiller Centre, then called the Forum, back in the 1990s. Jacanoni’s was famous for making delicious Dundee and Dundee United ice cream flavours. The much-loved shop would go on to close by the millennium.


Buy records from Groucho’s


Groucho’s was a music fan’s paradise. You could buy, sell and exchange records from this special record store which was located on the Nethergate in the 1990s. Groucho’s unfortunately closed in 2020 following the passing of the late legend that was Alister Breeks. Groucho’s legacy lives on as the site is now home to a bar that keeps the record store’s history truly much alive!


Travel on a blue and white Volvo Ailsa bus


Dundee’s busses have changed colours over the piece, from dark green to lime, to blue and white. Blue and white Volvo Ailsa buses were iconic on Dundee streets in the 1990s. They were however replaced with newly coloured busses in 2000.


Having a ball at the Olympia


The Olympia was a hugely popular spot for Dundonians like myself. The 1990s . The coloured slides, the rapid rivers and the swimming lanes were iconic!


The much loved swimming centre closed in 2013 to make way for the V&A Dundee and the wider waterfront redevelopment. Despite the controversy surrounding the newer Olympia, the memories of the old place are never forgotten.


Stay at the luxurious Angus Hotel


The Angus Hotel was the top spot for visitors to stay when they visited Dundee. From David Bowie, to Queen, to Elton John, the Angus Hotel was a very sought out place to stay. It was demolished in the late 1990s to make way for the new Overgate shopping centre which opened in 2000.

1 Comment

Really enjoyed reading this article, It was me who made the 1999 video, found it from the YouTube channel 'scotlands musical roadtrips' and added the radio jingles and adverts myself. I was only born in 2003 so can't remember everything here but certainly remember the Megabowl and the Olympia - 🔊waves in 30 secconds-30 seconds to waves 🌊🔊 - miss that place 🥲


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