Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 28, 2018 at 1:10 am

Old > New

1 (Impact) > Superscreen/9

2 > 4DX/4

3 (IMAX) > IMAX/8

4 > TBC

5 > TBC

6 > 3

7 > 5

8 > 6

9 > 7

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on March 27, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Could someone kindly give all the new Screen numbers, new versus old. I am confused. I presume the IMAX and Impact (if it is still called that) screens are unnumbered, albeit perhaps with implied numbers, as before.

CF100
CF100 on March 25, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Zappomatic: Thank you for the update and photos.

Still quite a way to go with final finishes, although it looks hopeful…

The “VIP” bar shown in the photo to which you provided a link is dire!

I’m guessing, from your photo into it in a stripped out state, that the former Screen 4 will be completely restepped with new “luxury” seating.

Robert: The former Screen 9 was indeed at the very upper level, in what was marked in plans in a previous licensing application as the “Film Booking Office”!

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on March 24, 2018 at 2:38 pm

I just visited Screen 7 a couple of days ago and it doesn’t look any different inside than it did before. It is at the very top of the stairs to the right of the entrance. I think it used to be Screen 9, as one of the screens at a lower level of the stairs still says Empire 7 over the doors. The movie was in ‘scope, and they didn’t close in the masking for the flat trailers and ads.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm

Another visit today and a few noticeable changes:

  • Balustrades missing from the stairs, presumably to come back once the flooring is complete

  • New fronts to the box office and concessions stand, with the plain glossy black replaced by a patterned glass effect that I can best describe as almost like a stripy terrazzo, backlit with coloured LEDs. Cineworld usually use this on the front of their VIP bars as seen here: https://gwcontracting.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/GW-Contracting-Cineworld-Renfrew-12.jpg

  • The structure of the new ceiling is becoming more apparent

  • The door to the former screen 4 was open and it appears to have been gutted (other than the screen itself). I could also see into the corridor to screen 5 which still had its leather-effect wall covering.

Just in the process of adding a few photos

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 11, 2018 at 1:05 pm

The fit-out here seems to be more bespoke – others have a backlit frontage and use a white top, as shown here: https://www.martek.co.uk/cineworld-uk/

CF100
CF100 on March 11, 2018 at 10:54 am

I suppose it’s a different situation to the first weeks of a first run film where the distributor gets a large percentage of the net box office. Given the high level of seat fill, it seems that it would be good for Cineworld to do more of these “IMAX Film Festival” programmes off-season.

Regarding the positioning of the new concessions counter, I think you are right that it has been moved back.

Looking also at the “Cinema Level” plan in the 2016 licensing documents, it looks like it’s now in line with the kink in the wall for the store room/fire exit doors to Leicester Place/(what was then) Screen 4, liberating what I estimate to be ~5ft. of space—and thereby alleviating the “concession queues block toilets” scenario.

Is the “fake marble” counter material the same as used in other current generation Cineworld refurbs/new builds?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 10, 2018 at 1:29 pm

They do this nationwide every year, a one off screening of the top IMAX films over the past year at £3 per film. But this is the first time Leicester Square has been included – they’ve practically sold out all of the screenings and I’d imagine they’ll make a fortune in popcorn sales!

CF100
CF100 on March 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Indeed! Expressed that way, though, even more odd. £3 for an IMAX with Laser screening in the West End?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm

The pricing looks odd because it includes a 70p per ticket online booking fee. In cinema it will be £3.

CF100
CF100 on March 10, 2018 at 11:34 am

Thanks Zappomatic for all the updates and photos.

The recent inclement weather particularly affected rail services in my area, so I’ve still not had a chance to take a look.

I’ll be in the West End today, but it looks like there’s an “IMAX Film Festival”—trying to complete an online booking for a single seat results in a message stating that there is a minimum number of seats required. (The pricing is also odd, e.g. £3.70 adult (without “My Cineworld Plus” or an “Unlimited” card.) It works if I try to book 3 seats, at which point it turns out the IMAX auditorium is already fully booked from Row C to N in the central section.

Looks like all plans I have to get there before the foyer is complete are jinxed!

The new concessions counter is looking rather good, I must say.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 9, 2018 at 8:53 pm

The work they’re doing to the ceiling is starting to make sense now – I’ve uploaded a photo of the new recesses.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 5, 2018 at 11:10 pm

Having looked again the wall finish behind the concessions counter is temporary and presumably will be tiled.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 5, 2018 at 9:13 pm

New concessions counter is now open (photo added). I may be imagining things but it seems to take up less room than the old one and the ice cream counter has swapped ends. It has a glossy black front and black marble effect top. Back wall is a black paint effect with some subtle lighting. It’s all a little more understated than other recent openings and returns which have a backlit counter and hexagonal tiles on the back wall.

Now the area on the other side of the foyer (under the sloped ceiling) is hoarded off.

CF100
CF100 on February 25, 2018 at 7:08 pm

Zappomatic: Thank you for the additional photos, looks like things are progressing, albeit I still can’t quite make sense of it—I’ll have a look this week for myself.

The “purple” coloured plasterboard looks like British Gypsum SoundBloc, although it looks like some of the paper has peeled off? I can’t imagine they’ve pained it “purple.”

Shame about the flithy porthole glass. :–( Presumably, you could take a microfibre cloth with you and clean it yourself! “Sounds like” (pun intended) a Superscreen visit is in order…

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Another visit today, and more pictures added. The pelmet-like boxing is begging to extend around the foyer including in front of the sloped section, gaps in the ceiling have been covered with a temporary material and the hoarding extended upwards to meet it.

A wire cable trough is being added in some areas – it’s similar looking to what was put in at the O2 before the LED modules appeared but the siting of it makes me think it’s for something else.

In front of the former screen 2 there’s a piece of metal attached to the pelmet, which could be the start of a dropped ceiling.

Saw The Shape of Water in the Superscreen (screen 9) today, and the sound system did the BAFTA winning score justice. Black levels suffered in darker scenes, the visibly filthy port glass probably not helping matters.

CF100
CF100 on February 19, 2018 at 1:41 am

Thanks Zappomatic. I’ve been tied up lately and still won’t be able to get there for a few days, so the photos are very much appreciated!

(More accurately, I could have gone there a few days ago, but it was cold, wet, and I was exhausted, and even I have to draw some limits to this cinema obsession business!)

Interestingly, the contractor appears to be Maeve Contractors, who have done completed various projects for Empire Cinemas, but none listed on their site for Cineworld. They were the main contractor for the IMAX/IMPACT conversion.

Perhaps they were contracted for this project as they know the ins and outs of the building and working in a such an inaccessible site.

Their work seems to be of a very good standard, and I am probably clutching at straws, but it might be a sign that Cineworld are taking their Leicester Square location very seriously.

Not sure what the “boxing” elements are for in your photos, it looks there is coving above the curved wall section? It does seem that there are more details than Cineworld’s rendering suggested, though.

Screen 8 for the IMAX? Very strange…

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 18, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Just over a week since the cinema reopened, and a few minor visible changes:

The foyer HVAC system seems to have been reinstalled (it was really cold last Friday) with vents appearing above the temporary concessions stand.

The curved wall has had the top and sides built out to house either a screen or a lightbox, and some of the rest of the ceiling has a sort of boxing on it (see photos) which I’m guessing will house LED wall washers. Presumably they’ll also use this to create a drop ceiling, but can’t really tell.

The door in the hoarding in front of former screens 4 and 5 was open and work was going on inside the entrances to the screens (sorry, didn’t get a photo of that)

The IMAX screen has been numbered as screen 8.

CF100
CF100 on February 11, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Zappomatic: Good point about the plasterboard! I think the fact that it’s white threw me off, but then they’d have to have repainted it anyway—the old paint was slightly cracked in one or more places, too.

I notice from Cineworld’s rendering that there is a “dropped” section of ceiling with decorative (concealed or strip) lighting, so I may have jumped the gun.

Actually, I’d not noticed that the spheres were silver, either. I should say that I assumed those ballustrates are from the ‘89 refurb, as they’re not shown in a photo from 1986.

Of course, the landing/Screen 2 access was a later addition, as can be seen in Wonderful First Night (1964) newsreel footage. (Direct link to relevant time in video.)

Funnily enough, although I actually refered to photos 1/2 when writing my last post, I hadn’t actually made the connection that the concessions were previously in that section. Must have been tired!

By also viewing this FrightFest 2017 cinema tour (direct link to relevant section of video), it is easy to see that Cineworld are moving everything forward in line with the access to the Superscreen/upper level screens.

I was half-joking about “Passengers”-style model, but it doesn’t seem too far a stretch to pre-order all the concessions, turn up, get eticket validated on entry, concessions order is then automatically prepared, wait for your number to appear on the screen… (albeit that’s more like the McDonald’s/Argos model!)

I suppose we’re not there yet with robot auditorium cleaners…

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm

It’s definitely new plasterboard and lights under the sloped section. Plasterboard and LED downlights are cheap and when you’re selling stuff you want it to look its best!

Yes, the black marble is next to the old screen 2 entrance. I hadn’t noticed before that the spheres on top of the balustrade are silver rather than brass but now that I’ve seen it it looks a little odd.

Interesting you should say that the walled-off section would be good for concessions, because if you look at older photos this is where they were originally.

easyCinema in Milton Keynes already went for the Passengers style model and that failed. That said, I remember when Cineworld had Haymarket and there was the odd occasion where I went into a screen without anyone checking my ticket…

CF100
CF100 on February 10, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Zappomatic: Ah! The paint looked OK from your photos, I guess it’ll be covered over with wall carpet or similar.

Ceiling, comparing your photos—1 and 2/3—the whole ceiling appears to be at the higher level, the metalwork already being in place, with no “coving” sections, albeit perhaps these could be attached later. I notice there is a “notch” cut out in the plasterboard, which might be for a “lightbox”-type feature, similar to those in Cineworld’s rendering?

I can’t imagine the sloped ceiling section will remain that way either—it’s not obvious whether those are the existing lights though; if they are, then clearly much of the lighting has been removed, along with the grilles for the air conditioning—but I’d assume it’s new plasterboard rather than messing about covering over those holes. Odd!

The moving of the curved wall section and partitioning off of the “box office” seems like a bad idea as I’d have thought that would be a good place to put concessions. However, that is the location depicted in the Cineworld rendering.

BTW, I assume the remaining bits of black marble you mention are by the 4DX entrance? I notice there is a veritable rat’s nest of wires hanging out of the room behind!

The balustrading at the edge of the landing towards the 4DX entrance looks somewhat out of place, with the spheres on top being the last vestiges of 80’s postmodernism from the ‘89 refurb.

As for a McDonald’s type ordering system, it’s not too hard to imagine the day when cinemas are like “Passengers” and humans are eliminated altogether!

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 10, 2018 at 11:06 am

All of the finishes are very much temporary, for example the rendering on the walls is quite rough and the paint a single, hurried coat.

Sound coming through from the IMAX is more than just low frequency rumbles and rattles, but not enough to make out dialogue. I suspect there’s a lot more to be done with the ceiling and doubt we’ll end up with one big smooth expanse. I can’t imagine that ceiling above the temporary concessions being left white or even with those lights.

I don’t think there’s enough space to provide the full retail offer where the temporary concessions stand is as there just isn’t the height and depth to provide things like ice cream (Cineworld website is listing Baskin Robbins, which isn’t there yet). Perhaps we’ll see something like a McDonald’s/Argos style ordering system to prevent queues snaking across the foyer?

One slightly odd thing I’ve noticed is that where there was previously a disused box office at the top of the stairs as you came in, this is now walled-off and the curved wall brought out to meet it. Seems unusual to take circulation space away but I guess they needed a bigger stockroom.

CF100
CF100 on February 10, 2018 at 3:10 am

Zappomatic: Thank you for the report and photos. I’m amazed they’ve reopened in that state!

Looks like good quality work.

I’m assuming those black walls are the final finish pending further fittings on top? Unimpressive compared to, for example, the vestibule marble cladding. As you suggest, wait for the finished result… but… hmm…

Very interesting to see the underside of the IMAX stadia. On the subject of sound leakage, peak level low frequencies were already audible in the foyer—as a “rattle”—so I’m assuming it’s currently worse?

Wonder if insulation will be installed. There is a lot more that could be done; what’s there looks quite inadequate.

It also seems the raised central ceiling section won’t be reinstated, with the whole ceiling at one level.

The position of the “temporary” concessions stand makes some sense, perhaps it will stay there permanently? (Perhaps thereby alleviating the “concessions stand customers in the way of the toilets” issue.)

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 9, 2018 at 9:16 pm

Work done so far is mostly just stripping-out. All floor finishes in the main foyer have been removed and the floor is covered with plastic, and all wall finishes have been removed bar a little black marble next to the box office. Some walls have recesses with electrical and network outlets, obviously meant to house portrait-oriented screens.

The ceiling has been replaced, bar a large section over what was the kiosk meaning you can see the underside of the risers in the IMAX screen. Current kiosk is a tiny temporary arrangement on the opposite side, which is going to struggle if anything in the IMAX gets a big audience.

On the access to the Superscreen and renumbered screens 5-7 the padded wall panels are gone as is the gold wallpaper on the front of the lift, but the golf finish remains once you get upstairs. The only remnant of Empire branding in the foyer is the IMPACT sign.

Toilets have had a partial refurb, with new floor tiles, sinks and lighting. Work in here also seems incomplete as some of the old lighting arrangement remains and the ceiling is filthy (made only more visible by the fact the floor is a lighter colour and the new lights are brighter). The new sinks and taps are a more conventional design than the old ones which is good as they were prone to creating puddles on the floor.

No changes in the screen I was in and seemingly no maintenance done over the closed period. Side masking inoperative, the fixed masking at top and bottom looking uneven and the focus soft. (At one point during the film there was a thud from someone nearby slamming a door or dropping something heavy which made the image shake!).

At the moment it’s far from finished and just in a state that just about allows them to operate as a cinema, so too early to make a call on the finished result.

CF100
CF100 on February 9, 2018 at 3:31 pm

It did seem optimistic to have the foyer complete within a few weeks!

Ian: What were you able to see from outside?

Unfinished is more interesting, however… I look forward (with some trepidation!) to Zappomatic’s photos.