Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 9, 2018 at 5:02 am

Reopens this afternoon. Cineworld have sent this email out to Unlimited members (accompanied by a voucher for free popcorn):

“We are pleased to share that Cineworld Leicester Square is officially open, just in time to catch blockbusters including Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther.

When catching your movie you’ll notice that Cineworld Leicester Square is going through a refurbishment. We know improvement works are annoying but you’re sure to be amazed by the difference."

I’m visiting after work so will be sure to report back with some photos, but I’m pretty much expecting a mostly finished foyer and not a lot else.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 6, 2018 at 2:20 am

If you click on the time for a screening, there’s a little red summary tab at the top right of the screen which will show you the screen number. If you want to see thsee seating plan just add a ticket to the basket and click through to the next screen.

CF100
CF100 on February 5, 2018 at 6:31 pm

Zappomatic: Where are you getting the screen number information? Doesn’t show for me on the bookings pages, albeit I imagine with Unlimited you can simply reserve bookings and unreserve them to get the e-ticket showing the screen number/name?

Hmm, I see the IMAX auditorium re-opens with “Fifty Shades.” :–( Ho-hum…

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 5, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Reopens this Friday.

Screen 6 is now screen 3
Screen 7 is now screen 5
Screen 8 is now screen 6
Screen 9 is now screen 7

Nothing is listed for the former screens 2, 4 and 5. My guess is that screen 2 will become screen 4 (for 4DX) and 4 and 5 will become 1 and 2.

CF100
CF100 on February 4, 2018 at 10:22 am

Ian: In the main planning application for the current canopy/signage, which was approved in 2007, the “Empire Theatre” name was proposed to be covered over with an “EMPIRE” sign.

I wonder why it was not installed?

I doubt Westminster would be keen, albeit there are historic precedents for it—and weren’t the outlines of the “EMPIRE THEATRE” name originally illuminated?

The current high-level side IMAX sign, though refused by Westminster, was allowed on appeal. The hung banner adverts have the subject of contention over the years, with the present compromise settled on.

Covering over the “EMPIRE THEATRE” name is the sort of thing that, I suspect, would be used as part of a “compromise deal”—i.e. if you let us do X, we won’t pursue Y—in this case leaving it uncovered.

Ian
Ian on February 4, 2018 at 1:43 am

Photo of the facade at night during the renovations here – possibly a brief period when it is all visible, without adverts. Will they, I wonder cover the Empire Theatre name?

EMPIRE THEATRE

CF100
CF100 on February 3, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Photo of a repair to the Leicester Place elevation uploaded—there has been a “hole” for some time, at least since the IMAX/IMPACT conversion works, as shown in Google Maps Streetview*. Most recently it seemed to have found use as a small dustbin!

No idea if this was a convenient access point for mice and flies. ;–)

(* I had to use a goo.gl link as CT’s software seems to turn the full URL into a link to the Fox Theatre in Detroit!)

CF100
CF100 on January 31, 2018 at 6:44 pm

Zappomatic: LOL… well, it would make for, erm, a unique augmented cinematic experience. ;–)

Screen 5? The only way I can think that would make sense is if 4/5 become ½, 6 becomes 3, IMAX/Screen 3 becomes IMAX/Screen 4—if they show non-IMAX films, then the IMAX isn’t an “IMAX”!— and 7/8/9 become 5/6/7, with the 4DX and Superscreen unnumbered.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 31, 2018 at 9:41 am

Looks like some renumbering of the screens is going on, as The Greatest Showman Sing-A-Long is now bookable from 23 February in screen 5 except the seating plan matches the layout of screen 7. I guess with a clean slate there’s no reason to keep the Superscreen and IMAX as screens 1 and 3 respectively.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 29, 2018 at 3:16 pm

I wonder if there will be a 4DX version of Fifty Shades? ;)

CF100
CF100 on January 29, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Another “Fifty Shades” film? Good grief…

(Incidentally, a number of seats are already reserved for the first screening listed at 19:30!)

I guess then literally all that will have happened is strip out/fit out of the foyer/public access areas. I had an odd dream last night in which I removed a piece of the old marble wall cladding from a skip outside…!

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 29, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Fifty Shades Freed is bookable in the Superscreen (shudder) from 9 February and Black Panther in the IMAX from 13 February. No obvious changes to the seat maps in these screens.

CF100
CF100 on January 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Westminster Building Control application no. 17/00439/OTHFP has had its status updated to “Building Work Started,” with the 15th January 2018 as the commencement date.

I cannot locate any new licensing application on Westminster’s site, which I assume will be required for the 4DX screen. I suspect the cinema will not be reopening by “early February”!

Incidentally—or perhaps not coincidentally—the hoarding on Leicester Street for the 1-4 Leicester Square works (hotel, etc.) has now been removed.

CF100
CF100 on January 28, 2018 at 3:20 pm

I had a look at the current external state of the Empire Leicester Square last night—no changes to the main entrance, but the poster boxes are now empty. The high level IMAX sign remains lit, as does the colour LED display on the left side of the canopy. (Although some sections were flickering!)

Other than the notice on the Leicester Square doors, the only sign of any building work is a “Construction Site” notice on the Leicester Street fire exit doors—photo uploaded.

A couple of repairs seem to have been completed to the Leicester Place elevation, photo to follow.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

I saw a film in screen 4 on 30 December (side masking not used, grr!) and hadn’t been back until 7 January (The Greatest Showman, Superscreen), so some time between those dates.

CF100
CF100 on January 11, 2018 at 2:17 pm

D'oh! I’m running a tracker blocker plug-in, I guess that’s what’s blocked it as I see the banner in another browser.

How long have Screens 4/5 been blocked?

Yes, those “DFS”-grade sofas were always awful—good riddance!

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

On the Cineworld website I’m seeing a banner stating that the cinema is closed and to visit Picturehouse Central. It’s served as an ad so if you’ve got an ad blocker running you probably won’t see it.

They had Tensabarriers in front of the doors to screens 4 and 5 and had moved the saggy leather sofas from around the foyer to be in front of them just to drive the message home! (Made the mistake of sitting on one of those a few months ago, was very hard to get back up again)

CF100
CF100 on January 11, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Zappomatic: Blocked with sofas? Maybe they’ll be refurbishing Screen 4/5 concurrently?

Thanks for uploading the photos of the foyer’s last night of service—I haven’t been there in months now as no desire to keep saying “goodbye” again!

Oddly, Cineworld’s site makes no mention of the closure—just has no trailer nor screening times listed!

CF100
CF100 on January 11, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Bye-bye 1962/89 foyer. :–(

I’ve uploaded a photo (taken last night) of the blacked out front entrance doors, with the notice reading:

“EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING — YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE WHAT’S COMING

“Whilst we work on improving your cinema, you can visit Picturehouse Central to watch the latest movies.”

I walked around the entire block (i.e. Leicester Sq., Leicester Street, Lisle Street and Leicester Place)—no signs of the refurb (yet?) externally.

There is a hoarding on Leicester Street which has been there for quite some time, but I assume this is for the redevelopment of 1-4 Leicester Square (Ground floor to 9th floor) only. All the more puzzling since Screen 2 has been closed for months!

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 7, 2018 at 9:32 am

Noticed in the cinema state that it’ll be closed from tomorrow until 6 February. The doors to screens 4 and 5 have been blocked with sofas and the foyer generally feels tired and ready for the refurb.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 3, 2018 at 5:24 pm

Contrary to the email I posted above, this cinema’s last day before closing for refurbishment works will be Sunday 7 January.

CF100
CF100 on December 14, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Thanks Zappomatic.

Hmm, “for some of the works to take place.” I assume this means that they’ll phase the works so that the foyer and associated areas, plus the 4DX auditorium will be complete by then, followed by refurbishments to other auditoria in 2018. (For the sake of completeness, I suppose the toilets also, at some stage.)

Possibly an opportunity to add larger seating, e.g. IMPACT/Superscreen balcony?

There are numerous complaints online about the lack of legroom in the IMAX auditorium. Even if restepping is an option—and I suspect it isn’t—they would end up losing centre seats.

I can’t say I trust Cineworld not to ruin everything special about the place, but we shall see… It might be said that it is fortunate that in part because of all the changes Empire Cinemas made, they have relatively little room for manoeuvre!

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on December 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Cineworld sent out an email to Unlimited members with Leicester Square set as their favoured cinema. Text below:

Dear Zappomatic,

We are contacting you because you have Cineworld Leicester Square listed as your favoured cinema.

Exciting news! Cineworld Leicester Square will be undergoing a refurbishment in the new year, so you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favourite films in our new look cinema.

So that we can look our best as soon as possible, Cineworld Leicester Square will temporarily closed from Wednesday 10th January 2018 until early February for some of the works to take place. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this will cause, and to make up for us being out of action in January, we would like to let you know that your January Unlimited membership is on us!

If you pay annually, we will credit your account with an additional month of Unlimited membership. If you pay monthly we’ll apply a one month credit to your account in January.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to Cineworld Leicester Square soon. In the meantime, our other London cinemas at Cineworld Fulham Road, Cineworld The O2, Cineworld West India Quay, Cineworld Wandsworth, Cineworld Enfield, Cineworld Ilford, Cineworld Wood Green, Cineworld Bexleyheath, Cineworld Feltham, Cineworld South Ruislip and Cineworld Wembley will all be open as usual.

Thank you,

The Cineworld Team

CF100
CF100 on December 14, 2017 at 11:39 am

Yikes, bye bye domes…

Zappomatic: Where did you get the information about the refurbishment dates from?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on December 14, 2017 at 2:48 am

Something that surprised me is that rather than making Picturehouse Central available free of charge to Unlimited members during the refurb, they are instead giving members with Leicester Square chosen as their favourite cinema a free month. I suspect Picturehouse Central is busy enough now compared with when it first opened that the influx of people could cause problems.