Club Sandokan / Exposure

The building was originally a transformer station of the G.E.B. (municipal power company). It was built in 1935, a small gas-tight air-raid shelter under the building proves that it was a turbulent time. During World War 2 a V2 bomb failed to launch properly and fell right next to this building, instantly killing some people who had sought shelter in a different air-raid shelter. Some houses were completely gone but the transformer station just survived.


Exact dates and facts are hard to find, so there are probably some mistakes in the text. If you find one, please send me a message! At some point in the 70’s it became ‘Theater aan de Haven’ (theatre at the harbour). After that, probably somewhere in the 80’s, it became ‘Sandokan’, a club for the local youth. Then in the early 90’s it became ‘909 Bass Line’, an club that bloomed with the rise of the hardcore genre. I don’t know if it became ‘Sandokan’ once again or that people just kept calling it that, but ‘Sandokan’ is the most known name and a lot of people have good memories of epic parties, though a lot of drugs were involved and massive fights were quite common. To many people’s dissapointment, it had to close because of the nuisance it brought to the neighborhood. It re-opened a few times, once as club ‘Exposure’ which became pretty big in the scene. Massive parties and well-known DJ’s are still remembered by a lot of people. After it closed it shortly became club ‘Fly’ which didn’t run very well. It became ‘Sandokan’ once again for a while. Then a period of vacancy, squatting, anti-squatting and cannabis plantations made the building a thorn in the neighborhood’s side. In between, somewhere in the early 2000’s, it became ‘Theater aan de Haven’ for a brief period again, but it didn’t survive for long. Now it’s being demolished for the building of luxurious appartments.

I’ve had my eye on this building for years. I saw it fall into disrepair more and more and tried to figure out how to get in. The courtyard was blocked by a huge gate which was always locked. I tried to figure out ways of climbing over rooftops to get there but always doubted if it would be worth the risk. Then one day, the gate was taken out and replaced by a fence, and demolition slowly began. I knew this was the last chance. The only problem was that it was right at one of the main roads which is always very busy, and going early in the morning wasn’t an option because the demolition crew started early. I went there three days in a row after working hours but didn’t dare to climb the fence in front of dozens of people. On day four I decided to go for it. Once inside I was surprised that so much was still intact. It wasn’t beautiful but it was fun to explore, and the many good memories people got from looking at the photos made it all worthwile!