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The planning permission news has again triggered a spate of articles where the headline declares that the “Leicester Square Odeon” will be demolished to make way for a hotel!
Robocop isn’t shown as bookable on the Empire Cinema website, either… IMAX had a picture of the projector packed up for shipping a month ago on their Facebook page, so the redevelopment must be at an advanced stage. I can only imagine Empire Cinemas are “embargo’d” from releasing information until the formal press release; the lack of engagement, in view of the interest shown by the many admirers of the cinema on their Facebook page, is perplexing. Surely, there’s some “insider” information or photos posted by someone?
Still scant information and no updates on the ‘IMPACT’ screen though…!
Empire Cinemas haven’t released any information on the ‘IMPACT’ screen, other than its seat count and confirming that Dolby Atmos will be installed. This is a pretty good indication of a high-end installation, as Dolby Atmos uptake has been very limited in the UK, with only a few screens equipped. Also, all of the other screens in the Empire have, IIRC, JBL screen speaker systems; however, without THX certification, the baffle wall will be no more.
As for masking, Empire 1 had a 60ft. screen and had the ‘IMPACT’ brand back existed at that time (2006 upgrade,) they may as well have branded Empire 1 an ‘IMPACT’ screen.
Considering that Empire 1 was host to many premieres, and the development of Leicester Square as an attractive location with the right infrastructure for them, presumably the IMAX auditorium now will be used to host most UK IMAX premieres.
The question is whether the ‘IMPACT’ screen will be used for non-IMAX or smaller premieres, or if these will go to the Odeon LS or (for the time being) the Odeon West End? In any case it seems set to be a venue for major events including the ‘FrightFest’ festival and therefore ought to be run as a premiere screen capable of handling all aspect ratios in the proper manor.
I’d hope that there’s more chance of full masking and tabs in the ‘IMPACT’ screen at the Empire LS than the average local cinema!
With the Empire twinning currently underway incorporating a giant-screened IMAX auditorium and therefore automatic bookings of IMAX-released movies, what will be the future of the Odeon Leicester Square?
The current screen size (48ft. wide?) is restricted by the sightlines from the rear stalls… if an overhaul happens it would presumably have to be extensive?
The ‘IMAX’ auditorium’s screen size appears to be roughly within the original IMAX guidelines for minimum/maximum screen width viewing angle for the rear/front rows.
Unfortunately, the large Leicester Square cinemas are now in competition with many ‘upsized’ multiplex screens, including so-called ‘Lie'MAX screens, and the BFI IMAX itself. I hope the Odeon Leicester Square will survive.
The interior fittings (acoustic wall coverings, seats, etc.) of the ‘IMAX’ auditorium shown in the computer rendered images look to me to be the same as those in the ‘IMPACT’ auditorium at Empire Cinemas Basildon. (Of course, the overall design follows that part of the former ‘Screen 1,’ particularly the walls/ceilings with concealed coloured lighting.)
Empire Cinemas Basildon ‘IMPACT’ Auditorium Photo
If this is correct then presumably the ‘IMPACT’ auditorium will also use the same fittings. If the ‘IMAX’ auditorium will be the flagship then perhaps the ‘IMPACT’ auditorium will have a more standard design and I can see the ceiling being lowered (it would be very high for a 400 seat auditorium?)
Looking at the renderings, I think the IMAX auditorium will occupy the current “circle” up to a few rows into the rear “stalls” (e.g. notice the existing two entrances from the foyer and the same row layout…)
Other known details:
The IMAX “laser” projector will be installed in 2014, whereupon the screen will be enlarged to 26mx15m. (The same width as the BFI London IMAX.)
Dolby Atmos will be installed in the IMPACT auditorium.
The loss of “Screen 1” is unfortunate but I think that all the signs are that the new auditoriums will be of a high standard. The IMAX auditorium renderings show the new walls/ceilings will be “staggered” with concealed lighting, and I hope they will be colour sequenced.
Does that mean an 80ft.+ screen is coming with seating primarily in the “circle”? (Hmm… possible limitation may be the “kink” in the right wall where the narrower “extended” part of 1928 site begins from the original 1882 site… and access to any new screen(s) built in the “stalls”?)
This is absolutely terrible news. As the laser show used to say… “The Most Spectacular Cinema in the World.” :–(
Fortunately managed to catch “Life of Pi” (stunning!) and “Star Trek into Darkness” (less so) in Dolby Atmos in Screen 1 this year… The days of continuous first run Universal/Paramount product are long gone though…
Is it just possible that there will be a sympathetic “drop wall” conversion and some of the Screen 1 interior will remain? “Rip out” makes it sound otherwise…
I saw “New York in 3D” at the Pepsi IMAX on the 16/12/1997. I recall that it had just been opened, but I do not know the exact opening date.
It was an excellent IMAX cinema. Headsets with “active shutter” LCDs and the “binaural personal sound environment” system (via in-built mini speakers) were handed out for 3D performances. It seems that it closed not long after the opening of the BFI London IMAX.
A new planning application, for the redevelopment of the entire block, has been submitted:
Westminster Council Planning Application Documents
The proposed replacement cinema still has 2 screens, now with 407 and 139 seats. (Plans are given in the above documents in “Proposed Level B2” and “B2 Mezzanine.”)
Exterior views of both the previous and the (in my opinion better looking) new proposal are in the document titled “130729 FINAL SCI – ODEON.” (e.g. p19, p21.)
The whole site(including office tower) has been sold, and a redevelopment, comprising several towers, has entered the pipeline:
“Construction News” article
The developer’s website mentions cinema space as possible for the redevelopment:
Almacantar – Marble Arch Tower
The existing cinema building would in any case, of course, be demolished.
Subwoofers have been upgraded to 4x Luis Wassmann LW6017 (dual 21"), according to http://www.luiswassmann.com/web/es/installation-list/odeon-leicester-square.html
On a recent visit (“Pacific Rim”) the sound was excellent.
I noticed the rear array are still JBL units. Does anyone know what speakers are used for the main screen system?