McDonald's customers open up on hidden 'dungeon' under store

A journey down a rusty old ladder reveals a space 'lost in time' in a Sydney suburb.

After it emerged a hidden, underground basement was found below a McDonald's restaurant in southwest Sydney, nostalgic Aussies have reminisced about their own memories inside the "dungeon-like" cave.

The tucked-away lair, deeply "trapped in time", dates back to 1976 when McDonald's in Campbelltown first opened. Roughly the size of a 25 metre swimming pool, the forgotten "crypt" is truly a step backwards in time, according to the venue's licensee.

The basement formally housed offices, change rooms, storerooms and a freezer for the restaurant’s 130 employees, according to the Macarthur Chronicle. But, it was decommissioned in 2005 after the original building was demolished to make way for a more modern structure. It currently sits untouched, beneath the present-day carpark.

Hidden underground basement at Cambelltown McDonald's restaurant.
Hidden underground basement at Sydney McDonald's restaurant. Source: News Corp

Basement 'dungeon-like' in appearance

"Well it looks like a bit of a dungeon down there," Mandy Lee told Yahoo News Australia. "But it had lights, (it was) dark, but not too dark, but this is going back a very long time."

Ms Lee said she can recall being taken down to the basement for tours during children's birthday parties.

"My experience there as a kid was actually pretty exciting. There’re so many people around my age that had birthday parties at the McDonald’s in Campbelltown, and they used to take you for a tour down into the basement where they held a lot of their stock, and, you got to have a look around.

"So for a McDonald’s party, that was pretty exciting when you’re a child.

"I am 45 now, so 40 years ago, and that’s the same with my sister and so many other friends they all had their little parties there. That was what they used to do... it was an amazing experience."

Ms Lee said "there’s a ladder you go down" to reach the basement, but "it wasn't creepy at all — not back then anyway".

The sun shines on the Golden Arches and Drive Thru logo of the fast food restaurant McDonald's
Campbelltown locals remember having parties in the basement under McDonald's. Source: Getty

'Same as the day the last person walked out'

“It is basically a time capsule down there,” licensee Peter Meadows told the Chronicle. “Those people who would have been working in the original building would say it pretty much looks the same as the day they walked out of it. Even the doors are still on the change rooms.”

Former Sydney residents remember

Ms Lee was one of hundreds of people who flooded Facebook with their own similar experiences.

"Had my seventh birthday party there in 1976, I’m now 54 now," one user said on Facebook. "I knew it was there. Worked at the old store and our change rooms, staff lunch room and food store was done there."

"Yeah my ninth birthday party was there and we got to do a tour down there," said another.

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