Empire Cinema

5-6 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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Showing 126 - 150 of 282 comments

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 27, 2010 at 6:31 am

Vintage photographs of the Empire Theatre, and the console of its Wurlitzer organ;

andysummers on September 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Oh, one more thing the sign on the doors the letterheads typeface is still there and new Empire typeface just doesn’t fit. It looks robotic and they even took down the gold brass typeface that stood above Empire 1 I think Empire 2 had similar typeface, I never cared for Empire 2 or 3, just as I don’t care for the new Empire screens only Empire 1 I won’t pay to watch a film on wimpy sound system even thou its JBL and I’m a fan of JBL. If I’m going to travel 120 miles its for Empire 1.

Also I think its Empire I forget which number its on the far left and side up a few stairs, and wow you can hear the lows from Empire 1 fitter badly into that no bigger to swing cat around auditorium. I bet its get a lot of complaints from customs paying to watch a film in silly sized room that is about the size of fair decent home cinema.

I think Empire got a little big for their shoes and it should be knocked down and used as store room because its not suitable as cinema, I think its Empire 9?

andysummers on September 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm


You know I still can’t aspect the new look of the front it looks cheap and bland kinder reminds me of coffee and I hate coffee. The colour of the panel that now sits on the front.

The look of the late 80’s was jazzy full of sparkle colour and chactutre that draws you towards the Empire away from the Odeon LS if you get my meaning. LOL It was like a magnetic THX force pulling you towards it.

Today it just looks naff! I’ve taken so many pictures myself of the new look, which they had cheap digital cameras around in the late 80’s to bring back home some Empire memories. The late 90’s look was like thumbs down as well.

Cinema is about glitz and style just as much as important on the outside as on the inside. I guess the like to wait and see the reactions of people going in first timers or do they even care to notice that?

It’s a shame the old curtains have gone in Empire 1 as that was style second to none and now its just cheap simple curtains that pull back, not upwards then outwards as they used to.

andysummers on September 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I was chatting to guy that runs company that outfits cinema seating nice chap. I mentioned the Empire and its rocker seats as I have just brought a set not the same as the Empire as he said that type is no longer available and that, the company went bust years ago, many years ago

I can’t recall if he said the name of the seating was called (broccoli seating)?

Anyone, anyone know if that’s the right name?

MarkDHite on August 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Too bad there are no interior photos of the 1920s Empire designed by Thomas Lamb to be found online. But photos can be found in a long-ago back issue of MARQUEE magazine. Here’s one of the exterior, which has been retained. It is identical to the 1926 Albee Theatre in Cincinnati, also by Lamb! The rest of the theatre bore no resemblance.

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 18, 2010 at 6:00 am

Interesting find Mike. The Allen Theatre Circuit of Canada must have only operated the old Empire Theatre for a short time, as in 1925, it was sold to Loew’s Inc., and closed in January 1927, to be demolished for the new (current) Empire Theatre building.

rivest266 on April 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm

This was taken over by the Allen Theatre Circuit of Canada.
Montreal Gazette June 5th, 1920 View link

Rogere on February 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm

In the old days a lot of the West End cinemas were no better inside then surburban cinemas were and they charged more to attend infact the cinemas in the East End and seaside resorts were much much better but the West End cinemas usually had much better posters and lobby cards outside. would be nice to see an old photo.

andysummers on February 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm


Wow is that so incredible. Are there any rare pictures of this before the cinema was refitted out?

Rogere on January 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I went to the old Empire in 1960 to see ‘Ben-Hur’ and I was stunned MGM’s premier cinema was a dump the screen may have been big but there were poles hoiding up the balcony which must have blocked viewing from some of the seats no wonder it was gutted.

andysummers on October 29, 2009 at 7:00 am

Well I’m going up for the Dolby digital cinema 2D experience of 2012 at the Empire Leicester Square. 3D films aren’t have a huge impact on me I mean I found myself looking around when Sid was off-screen on the rear surrounds while he tortured Toys in his back yard.

andysummers on October 3, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Word is there will be a tenth 10th Empire screen coming soon! WOW at least ten is round number LOL.

andysummers on October 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I was at the Empire this Friday for Toy Story Dolby 3D via Empire’s still impressive JBL 56KW THX sound system.

The show was flawless in picture and sound 10/10!

The only issue with 3D glasses is (peripheral vision) so I can see the frame on the sides of my eyes and it was annoying because it’s in the way of the onscreen action.

Maybe they can improve on it in the future. Or maybe 3D contact-lenses that way there won’t be any distraction.

Other than that it was flawless.

The SPL db at front and centre hit 115db at times a bit less than usual 120dbc. I later learned that chief projectionist on site that day said (fader was at 6) so rather than 7 as there was (only a few) in for the first 12:30pm show.

I said (I could take it at 7) LOL

I guess the fader went to mark 7 during the later part of the day.

I have nearly 150 pictures of the day and that will take nearly a few days to upload on that slow photobucket site now which has gotten real slow since the new software.

Still there is an alternative! Link to Lansing Heritage Forums where I’ve been covering it cinema with my own and some secondary research pictures of the Empire.

The Empire Leicester Square London a JBL installation!
View link

Now that saves me at least 150 or so pictures to upload. The pictures have been loaded directly onto the site for quicker view and I still have at least 20 more to upload.

Also pictures of screens 6, 7, 8 and 9 I took a few of 5 and 6 last year.

andysummers on October 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm

^^Oh, wow that was when cars could drive down the square till what sometime around the 1980’s?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 15, 2009 at 5:57 am

The Empire Theatre, photographed at night in November 1955:

andysummers on August 14, 2009 at 6:27 pm

EMPIRE RULES becuase its the best looking and best sounding cineam around with JBL 56KW THX sound system, now then!

andysummers on August 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm

(Empire 3) They’ve divided screen up is that what they’ve done because that that was 70 plus seat cinema.

theatreofvarieties on July 31, 2009 at 9:36 am

To confirm –
Empire 6 – open – 23 seats
Empire 7 – open – 58 seats
Empire 8 – open – 48 seats (formerly screen 3)
Empire 9 – in construction – 42 seats

davepring on July 14, 2009 at 12:54 am

It is great to see Empire Cinemas maximising the potential of this truly wonderful cinema and also regaining its Premier status.Screen one has to be the best movie experience in not only London but the whole of the U.K.It well deserves to be Movie Showplace of the Nation once again.

HowardBHaas on May 31, 2009 at 4:37 am

I’ve never been to the Curzon Soho, but THX quality of sound & picture presentation seems met at the Empire.

I was sitting in the Circle.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Since the Curzon Soho down the street with constant rumbling tube noise is also THX certified, what does that really mean?

andysummers on May 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Projection was spot I like it and the atmosphere as well.

Doubt I’d be travelling to London for at least few months as Empire cleaned me out that day. God damn bank changes! LOL Where was you sitting Howard?

I’ve just read that Empire 1 installed Dolby 3D this May 26th so looks like its smarting up tenfold making cinema still the original medium.
View link

HowardBHaas on May 25, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I, too, enjoyed “Star Trek” seeing it last week. 2 curtains were used. THX trailer was shown. Projection was perfect on the huge screen. Sound was fantastic as AndySummers indicates.

andysummers on May 8, 2009 at 6:18 am

I didn’t take as many as I expected as the Trekies seemed to have gone into some kind of habitation or where clocking there true appearance in casual dress which did seem a bit odd.

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I’m interested dressing up thou I did go fully clothed and not naked! It’s the original shows films that I like the most and this new one of course which turned out more than brilliant, in fact. Fantastically out of this world in six-track Dolby digital THX sound system.

Sat up front and centre as I said and the screen THX size is to die for in scope. Nice selection of Star Trek theme music that was playing over the JBL stage and surrounds while the neon lighting goes thou its usual changing of colour and mixing of random colours is always pleasing to see.

Got some video on phone camera I’m getting friend to help me load it up on Saturday as it’s a bit tricky, unlike my digital camera which is easy

The sound was reference quality throughout from start to finish. The opening made scene no, I’m not going to say. Bass and subwoofer track rumbled effortlessly without strain with lots and lots of slam and deep depth effects. Practically when Nero creates a black hole!

Warp speed sound effects came with fast snapping sharp attacks that jolted me in the rocker seat.

The Foley effects footsteps like when Nero leaps down to grab Kirk slammed me in the chest, larger then life it was. The phaser effects where very hot on the mid to high range had sonic believability I could feel the impacts on to bodies of Nero’s men or ricocheting off metal structures within his ship.

Surrounds was clear on most occasional effects that came in. Doors hissing on what sounded like centre back to me and few sidewall surround effects of the Enterprises interior. Oh and the ship herself looked awesome on the EMPIRE screen wow she is a beautifully ship.

Second viewing sat in the circle thou its not what I’d call upstairs as someone at box-office said. The floor sloops upwards and the upwards I’d hardly qualify it as upstairs, unlike Odeon Leicester Square which does have an upstairs or baloney that I won’t even bother with anymore.

Anyway enough of OLS screen 6 okay!

Sound was just as positive with hard hitting smooth effects in the middle thou a few db lower of course than the front. dialogue centre stage and effects and music of different blend was solid up front as it was in the middle. Nice and warm on Sarek played by (Ben Cross) Those JBL 4642 five-screen LF. Soft whispery dialogue speech with Spock and Uhura “I’m sorry” was crystal JBL THX clear!

Oh I forget to take a few pictures of up and coming EMPIRE 6 which is in the slow building contraction at the moment should be opened in six weeks.

I heard rumours that EMPIRE 3 is going to be modified. I think I was so overwhelmed with logical emotion LOL that I have forget to take the odd 1 hundred pictures. I apologize I’ll do better next time around which might be Terminator 4 with Terminating JBL 56KW THX! :D