Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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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.

Zappomatic on December 14, 2017 at 1:33 am

Closing for refurb from 10 January until early February.

CF100 on December 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Zappomatic: Good grief, I wonder if mice like to chew at Rockwool?!

Fortunately for myself, the OLS mouse just sat still and then disappeared after a while, maybe 20-30 minutes. In a way, it’s actually less distracting than popcorn-muching patrons… (The auditorium was almost empty for that screening.) “One eye” on the mouse and the other on the screen rather than intermittent crunching and rustling sounds.

The pests you report seem to crop up mostly in what I assume are the older parts of the Empire, albeit I’ve never been clear on which bits date back to the 19th century. The block from LSQ to the main auditorium block seems to have been extended up since 1928, at least with the addition of a “mansard” roof level presumably hiding services.

Lighting research update: I have just obtained an OSRAM E14/SES LED bulb for my desk lamp, 4000K colour temperature, looks the same colour as the IMAX/IMPACT auditoria house lights. (Model: “LED STAR Classic B40.”) OTOH, I also obtained some OSRAM “VALUE Flex 900” white semi-professional LED tape with integrated current regulation, also sold as 4000K, and it doesn’t! I’d guess it’s fairly similar to the general background lighting in the foyer areas of the refurbished Vue West End.

CF100 on December 6, 2017 at 3:11 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 1:25 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 12:12 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 11:35 am

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 6:08 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 1:52 am

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

CF100 on November 28, 2017 at 5:57 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 4:38 pm

Cineworld might merge with regal…

CF100 on November 28, 2017 at 4:32 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 2:09 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 12:22 pm

When it was a PROPER cinema :–

CF100 on November 28, 2017 at 11:53 am

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 6:06 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 8:51 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 5:52 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 7:32 pm

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

Zappomatic on November 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

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

FAShaffi on November 3, 2017 at 8:28 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 2:59 pm

Pleased to report the masking in Screen 5 is working!

CF100 on October 28, 2017 at 6:30 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 3:23 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 2:09 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!).