Cineworld Haymarket

63-65 Haymarket,
London, SW1Y 4RQ

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Showing 51 - 57 of 57 comments

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 6, 2007 at 7:08 am

cjc;The ‘Dress Circle’ you refer to in your Jan 20, 2006 posting was actually a Mezzanine with only three rows of seats. The Balcony above it (currently screen 1) was the main circle.

The Mezzanine was located at street level and its entrance was straight off the main foyer. I presume this area is used for storage or staff rooms etc?

JFM on January 6, 2007 at 6:11 am

I worked at this theatre from 1984 to 1992.

In 1986 there was a fire which gutted most of the foyer. It as believed to have been started deliberately by someone ho had broken in at night, and was set in a cupboard on the right side of the theatre as you walked in the main doors, where the public telephones were located. As a result the theatre was closed for about 6 months, and the film Purple Rose Of Cairo was due to start there the next day. The film, and indeed most of the staff were relocated to the Cannon Royal cinema in Charing Cross road instead.

Because of where the fire started, the structure and the wooden staircase at the left side of the foyer was largely intact, so that side of the cinema was cleaned up relatively quickly and the theatre opened for business while the other part of the foyer was cordoned off and restored. Once the right side was restored, the left side was then closed and restored properly while the right section was opened.

The greatest loss was probably the original ceiling – drawings were taken from the remains and new sections were created to look as close to the original as possible.

Because of the extensive damage to the woodwork on the right side, the bannister and stairway had to be replaced – the difference in quality to the left side in very noticable.

A great shame, as it was one of the fewer older cinemas left in London’s West End.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 19, 2006 at 11:24 am

This a current view of the main screen, located in the former balcony. Decorative details and light fittings are original to the 1929 opening of the Carlton:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 26, 2004 at 4:33 pm

The Carlton (as it it still fondly remembered) was designed by architects Frank T. Verity and Samuel Beverley. It was a project of Carlton Theatre Co, a company set up by Paramount Pictures Ltd who owned the nearby Plaza, Regent St. The Carlton opened as a live theatre, but went over to full time film use in May 1929. The original seating capacity was 1,159. After many years being operated by Paramount Pictures it was taken over by Twentieth Century Fox in March 1954 and they installed CinemaScope. In 1960 the stage was brought back into use for the last time when Anthony Newley starred in a special stage show prior to the screenings of his starring movie “Let’s Get Married”.

woody on February 18, 2004 at 12:25 pm

the lobby and screen 1 retain much of the very rich italian renaissance plasterwork although they are painted in very gaudy shades of pink and purple, the interior is very close in design to that of the nearby Plaza which has recently been gutted again this time to become a supermarket!
UGC are rumoured to want to expand the ground floor of the Haymarket from 2 screens to seven and make it a dedicated arts film venue, it does need some money spending on it, the exterior is very grimey and the signage is rusting and faded (not what one would expect from a top price west end hall)

Richardboaste on July 16, 2002 at 7:30 am

The Carlton is actually owned and operated by UGC cinemas, having been acquired in the take over of the Virgin circuit, who took over the old MGM Cannon Circuit, It has never been operated by Odeon, They did have an theatre just up the road from the Carlton, Which closed about two years ago.