Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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CF100 on December 6, 2017 at 6:11 pm

The riser mounted (behind seating) LED modules referred to by the Integrated Systems Technologies case study are presumably similar to these:

Osram Oslon SSL Modules – Red

Osram Oslon SSL Modules – Green

Osram Oslon SSL Modules – Blue

They are supplied in strips of 12, but can be divided into individual LED sections.

N.B. In the unlikely(?) event that anyone reading this has the idea that they might acquire some, say, for their home cinema, or other DIY applications, it cannot be overemphasised that the power, control, thermal, optical, physical handling and mounting requirements/systems/accessories needed for these must be understood first.

Zappomatic on December 4, 2017 at 4:25 pm

I have to qualify the news about Coke to Pepsi by stating that this came from a Cineworld barman rather than any official source!

Regarding mice there’s an interesting exchange on Twitter where apparently a mouse came out of one of the wall panels in screen 5 and ran across people’s laps/chests! And I was once in a screening at Haymarket when a woman across the aisle jumped up and screamed after a mouse ran across her foot.

CF100 on December 4, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Zappomatic: Interesting! Wonder if the Pepsi Max logo will be reinstated on the front canopy… I assume whatever agreement Empire Cinemas had with Pepsi has been terminated.

What they really need is one of those touchscreen machines for some added-flavour (e.g. Strawberry) Pepsi Max!

The first time I ever heard of nachos was when viewing the animated Warner Cinemas policy trailer.

There seems to have been some problems with mice in West End cinemas, albeit the last inspection (2014) of the Empire LSQ yielded a 5 star hygiene rating.

Still, I can’t help but wonder about the condition of the external walls in certain locations…

P.S. I have seen mice in the OLS auditorium… :–(

Zappomatic on December 4, 2017 at 2:35 pm

It seems Cineworld have solved the problem of every seat in the IMAX screen having a Pepsi Max logo – soon to be switching from Coke to Pepsi across the chain (bar supplier has already changed – now hoping they ditch Rollover and their awful nachos)

CF100 on November 29, 2017 at 9:08 am

According to CityAM, now confirmed by Cineworld:

“[Cineworld’s statement says that] the companies are in ‘advanced discussions’ and are ‘finalising due diligence.’”

Zappomatic on November 29, 2017 at 4:52 am

They’re like a modern day kleptomaniacal Cannon (albeit without a parent company churning out dubious films)!

CF100 on November 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Good grief! Quick look on Google News suggests the rumour is of an “acquisition” (of Regal) rather than a “merger.”

moviebuff82 on November 28, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Cineworld might merge with regal…

CF100 on November 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Zappomatic: I imagine they will have to close at some point. I assume they will be taking down ceilings, under such conditions I can’t see them dividing the vestibule area, with half the stairs width up from LSQ closed off…

Zappomatic on November 28, 2017 at 5:09 pm

When it comes to refurbishments Cineworld seem to prefer to subject their customers to building sites rather than closing completely, although I could see how the layout here might prevent them trading through.

terry on November 28, 2017 at 3:22 pm

When it was a PROPER cinema :–

CF100 on November 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Update (again!): I’m perhaps talking nonsense in the previous post, the Proflix strip LEDs have lenses on them which narrow the dispersion, they are available with different angles to suit the application. Quite different to cold cathode strips.

According to an article in The Telegraph, dated August 2017, “[Cineworld’s] Leicester Square site will get a makeover at the end of the year.” At this point, then, it seems reasonable to expect it to close in January for the foyer refurbishment…

CF100 on November 15, 2017 at 9:06 am

Update: Referenced to my memory/photos/videos, both the IMAX and Empire 1 light colours can be matched; in the latter case, both “warm glow” and “super-luminous neon” hues.

By putting the LED strip in a deep aluminium extrusion fitted with a diffuser, it is possible to get something of a neon-style effect.

It would, therefore, seem plausible that the IMAX auditorium concealed lighting, by design, is not intended to produce the “strips of glowing neon” effect so much as a more subtle overall colour wash, with the colour choices themselves slightly “subdued” also.

CF100 on November 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

Integrated System Technologies – Case Study on the IMAX Conversion LED Lighting

Specifications (quoting from the above linked page where applicable) – IMAX auditorium:

–“151 x Serenity Lighting Prolix for the ceiling and wall ribs powered by 28 x iDrive Force 24…” (constant current drivers.)

–“3 x iDrive Thor 36 have been installed to power the RGB constant voltage LED lighting modules…” (behind the seats.)

-The iDrive Thor 36 drivers are connected to controllers/touch panels for programming, “which in this case is synchronised with […] the Serenity Prolix strips in the ceiling and wall ribs, creating a stunning uniform effect.”

IMAX/IMPACT auditoria:

–“52 x Serenity Lighting Illuceo 30W fully dimmable house lights […] also powered from the 28 x iDrive Force 24 LED drivers.”

-The iDrive Force 24 drivers are claimed to provide “the smoothest dimming in the market place down to less than 0.01%.”

The Prolix strips use selected OSRAM OSLON LEDs. Equivalently specified products are available at retail prices which are, needless to say, many times that of the typical low-end Chinese RGB flexible strips available via eBay etc.!

CF100 on November 9, 2017 at 8:52 pm

In case anyone is interested in “replicating” the Empire LSQ’s colour-changing concealed lighting, I have recently acquired two 5 metre lengths of LED strip tape, one a low cost unbranded 12V RGB type, the other a commercial grade 24V RGBW (4-in-1 SMD) type with Epistar LEDs, and the following are my initial observations.

Both use “5050” size SMDs (surface mount devices.)

The low cost device is pretty nifty for the price (around £10 inc. controller, remote and power supply!) but seems insufficient for lighting dark matte textured surfaces—and who knows how it will perform after 1000s of hours…

(Incidentally, the controller which came with the low cost strip does have a “FADE” function which cycles between colours, but it changes colour every 10 seconds or something at the slowest setting…)

The high cost device, on the other hand, has ample light output and seems to me to be quite capable of matching the system in the Empire’s IMAX auditorium.

(Of course, it has better colour rendering and consistency than the low cost one, too.)

Further testing required to see if it can “match” the cold cathode system in Empire 1, once the lights are properly installed and DMX controller added, albeit I only have photographs to go by!

Addendum: Looking at theatreofvarieties' pictures of the IMAX auditorium and other material, the behind seating lights appear to be mounted within a bendable extrusion attached to each step’s riser. As red, green, and blue light sources clearly are emitted by a separate “unit”, of the commerically available products, one possibility is that these are RGB strips with separate 3528 SMDs for each primary, and spliced (or supplied) in units of 3 SMDs (i.e. red, green and blue), spaced to yield one section per seat.

FAShaffi on November 5, 2017 at 10:32 pm

perfect, I’m excited to check it out:)

Zappomatic on November 4, 2017 at 11:55 am

Yes, it’s perfect for that and the Atmos audio set up is excellent.

FAShaffi on November 3, 2017 at 11:28 pm

would the Impact/SuperScreen be a good place to see a 1.85 movie like “Justice League”? I would see it on the IMAX screen but I’m really trying to avoid the 3D

Zappomatic on November 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Pleased to report the masking in Screen 5 is working!

CF100 on October 28, 2017 at 9:30 am

cultman1: Yes.

-Photos of the auditorium and foyer can be seen in the June 1963 edition of International Projectionist. (Thanks to Joe Vogel for the original link to this, although that one no longer works.) It looks like more padding was later added to the seating?

-The foyer/vestibule can be seen in newsreel footage of the “Wonderful Life” premiere from 1964.

-Photos in flickr user dusashenka’s album (at the bottom of the page) – these are from the mid-80s but it doesn’t seem too much has changed since the 60s—including the bar, chandelier, and mink/gold auditorium colour scheme—the “bump” tiles seem to be gold.

The internal access to Screen 2 seems to have been added; otherwise, I wasn’t alive in the 1960s, so someone else may be able to enumerate any changes!

cultman1 on October 27, 2017 at 6:23 am

has anyone any photos showing the Empire in the mid sixties especially the foyer and the Empire screen as it was then?

Zappomatic on October 25, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Customers in the cinema are unsurprisingly confused about the mishmash of signage and branding, particularly with the Impact screen being referred to by Cineworld as Superscreen in marketing, e-tickets and on some temporary signage, and Screen 1 on printed tickets (just yesterday I had to redirect a pair of people who somehow became lost in the corridor to the Superscreen even though it’s the only thing it leads to!).

CF100 on October 25, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Robert: I noticed, in my last visit, a printed stand-alone sign outside the IMAX auditorium saying something like “IMAX (Screen 3).”

Removal of the Empire signage seems to be pending the full foyer/lobby areas refurbishment, quite why Cineworld couldn’t just cover them up with stick-on signage or similar is beyond me…

I can only imagine patrons have to use Google Maps or similar to actually find the “Cineworld” in LSQ; there were a number of American tourists in the auditorium during my last visit.

Shame about the non-functioning masking. :–(

CF100 on October 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm

theatreofvarieties: Many, many thanks, once again!


Ah… combined with your post saying that the 1927 circle went higher, the jigsaw puzzle of the 1962 conversion finally makes sense.

For instance, I could never work out why the old “tea room” seemed to be wider than the 1962 main foyer area, with the sloped ceiling implying that the stadia structure is encroaching on the right side of the 1962 foyer.

(Put that way, it seems obvious now; but the layout of the rear of the 1928 auditorium is similar.)

Overlaying redrawn section plans (which I’d previously assumed were simply in no way to scale) suggests that the original projection ports were higher, and the 1962 stadia lower and slightly less steeply raked.

The position of the original circle seems to be approximately at the top of the lighter coloured tiles at the bottom of the sidewalls of the Empire 1’s circle section?

IIRC, from the book “Empire Leicester Square – The First 100 Years” (David High) the original circle was formed by a continuous pour of concrete. The 1962 reconstruction must have been extreme indeed; I can’t work out where the primary girder for the circle could be.


Fantastic. :–)

It was the 1960 comfort deluxe model, there were 100 taken out and saved, the rest were scrapped.

What happened to the 100 that were saved, and were any other elements of Empire 1 removed and saved?

Also, I wonder about the specifications of the IMAX concealed colour-changing LED lighting, and the cold cathode concealed lights that were in Empire 1?

With the LED lights, I assume that flexible strip types are used, other than the ones around the screen?

Zappomatic on October 24, 2017 at 9:15 pm

Masking also not operational in screens 4 and 9. No idea about 7 and 8, but the bottom masking in 6 worked last time I saw a film in there about a month ago.