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Actually it was a proper IMAX large format film venue.
IMAX is now a digital operation and although some screens do not offer the immersive experience the BFI IMAX and Leicester Square Empire certainly do and are not LIE-MAX
Have you visited the Empire???…the IMAX screen is huge and the projection first rate as is the quality of the conversion.
If I were Odeon I would think about offering a more unique experience without twinning such as replacing the stalls seating with tables and inserting a bar /restaurant under the circle overhang.This works well at The Rex Berkhamsted and The Regal in Evesham and of course has been tried successfully at Odeon Whiteleys.
The West End is overscreened and Empire took the initiative in twinning the main Empire with two still sizeable auditoriums with massive sceens.
Everyman Cinemas are expanding rapidly which shows that customers will pay for a premium experience and although Odeon clearly have a multiplex mindset they should think carefully about their Leicester Square flagship.
Correction to the info above the cinema has 2 screens not 3. The area planned for the third screen is a cafe/bar.
One of the finest single screen cinemas in the world!
I hope not….
I think Vue are running this and the ex Apollo on Lower Regent Street into the ground.The gold curtains in the premier screens are no longer used and the auditoriums are looking dismal and badly lit.
Empire had promised to post photos of the conversion work on their website and facebook but to date have not.The lack of masking is now unfortunately the norm in most new builds and renovations.
There are plans for films to return to The Forum in the near future when the venue is not booked for concerts.
The Vue screens are an utter mess and after nearly 20 years are in a desperate need of refurbishment.The exterior of the building also needs some TLC.
I hope someone from Odeon reads the comments here and pursues stadium seating in the stalls without compromising the decor. Btw CF100 not that keen on the black box Impact screen at The Empire!
Since being rebranded as Vue this cinema has gone downhill.The plasma info screens no longer work.The foyer is desolate with tatty signs directing you down to the cinemas..shameful.
This cinema is now looking very tatty externally.The LED info boards no longer work the box office windows are partially boarded up and the plastic concealing the Warner sign is peeling away.
I would use the area under the circle for another purpose..such as a bar for stalls patrons and certainly not a shoebox cinema…I think the revamped Empire will offer serious competition to OLS so some kind of USP would be called for.
Sitting in the stalls here is not a great experience but it would be easy to install stadium seating here without compromising the integrity of the building along the lines of the extended circle at the Trafalgar Studios.A larger screen could then be installed within the original proscenium.
Good news at last!!! I knew this would be a quality rebuild and look forward to visiting the new Empire screens.Shame though that Empire have been less than forthcoming on progress or posting photos on their website.
A dreadful decision for such an iconic cinema
this is my favourite Odeon…I just wish that the stalls void was reused in a similar vein to the Rex Berkhamstead
I hate those blue led frames . I guess they are low maintenance but have no place in the West End where very few cinemas still use tabs with the exception of The Prince Charles, Curzon Mayfair and Odeon Leicester Square.
The Empire dating from 1962 until its subdivision lasted in its original form longer than the majority of West End Cinemas.The Plaza was twinned in the late 60s and The Warner in the early 70s.I think Ranks zing treatment was unnecessary but at least recent renovations improved the look of the Odeon.
Some of the viewing rooms at the Empire are not that bad…I was in screen six recently..only 26 seats but a large digital screen much bigger than those at Odeon Studios Leicester Square.Empire One has now been closed for seven months so I hope the work is sympathetic to George Coles design and having seen the computer renderings this seems to be the case.
The Empire Imax screen is now scheduled to open late March/early April and the Impact screen in May.
You were sitting in the largest screen, an extension of the original balcony from the 1960s conversion.3 smaller screens have been carved out of the rear circle with the fifth screen in the former projectionists training area.
I visited the Swiss Cottage Odeon today to see their IMAX presentation of Skyfall. I am normally very critical of Odeon sites but this one exceeds all expectations. There is little remaining of the Art Deco interior but at least the circle foyer has been reinstated and is now the stylish Amber Bar. The Imax auditorium, the former circle is massive and the deco ceiling troughs are still in situ and the screen presentation was impressive.
I used to visit this cinema as a child.If a film was in cinemascope the masking had to be manually adjusted by a pully mechanism at the side of the proscenium curtains.Featuring mostly family friendly films at cheap prices this was a lovely small town cinema.
Although the exterior is in good shape the interior is a typically botched Odeon conversion with sound bleeds from the circle minis into the cinemas below…avoid !!