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For me Cannon represented the dark days of cinema in the U.K. I was even hopeful that the ABC Management buy out would be a success but sadly this was not to be and many of our great cinemas have now disappeared from the townscape to be replaced by Odeon dull multiplexes.
Now open again with a pop up bar!!
Vue was maybe the first new build multiplex in the West End..well looked after by Warner..in a dreadful state now
Totally agree.The west end is very much over screened.With the opening of Picturehouse Central I think the likes of ODEON Panton St and Covent Garden will be casualties.The Vue Leicester Square is a shadow of its former self and only offers 2 decent sized screens.The Empire and Odeon Leicester Square are really the only event cinemas left.
There is no way that the Empire could stay as a single screen auditorium.It had been losing money for years.Although I lament its passing I am amazed it lasted so long.The Warner and Plaza were twinned in the late 60s early 70s.The Carlton was butchered and The Rialto and London Pavilion closed as cinemas. Todays audiences want bigger screens and immersive sound and The Empire now satisfies that demand in a high quality conversion but like most other posters I miss the Empire of the 1960s.
This cinema has now closed as an Odeon and will reopen as Everyman once it has been refurbished
My guess is that the balcony will be re configured to provide around 300 seats and the stalls will be reinstated possibly with a bar at the rear along the lines of The Screen on the Green with table seating in the remainder of the stalls, with the two screens beneath the cirlce being upgraded to luxury boutique cinemas enabling a variety of programming.Everyman have not tampered with their cinema in Oxted and I think they will do an excellent job on the Muswell Hill site.
the photo is similar but the festoons stage right and left were lower creating more of a horizontal line
The Leicester Street entrance originally led to the Pit Stalls of the Empire Theatre prior to the 1920s rebuild.
The first film I saw at the Empire was in 1970 which I think was Woodstock.The contour curtain was used at the beginning and end of each performance rising and falling in two different styles.I had a book many years ago detailing the history of the Empire from the 1880s to the 1980s which had a photo of plaster work remnants on the right hand side wall towards the projection booth..but my memory may be mistaken!
The interior of the Empire was indeed stripped back to the walls although some elements of the 1920s ceiling were still intact hidden behind George Coles design.In the 1970s the contour curtain would rise and fall in a combination of designs but this feature was abandoned by the 80s.
The cinema is finally getting decent product with Jurassic World playing both in IMAX 3D and IMPACT screens next month
Laser projectors will be installed here this summer which will give the cinema the edge over its nearby competitors.
Well with a bit of luck this cinema will return to its former glory as Everyman Cinemas is planning to buy it along with 3 other Odeon properties and spend a significant amount on the refurb.
The IMPACT screen has Dolby Atmos sound and is impressive.I dont understand OdeonNotFanaticals rants.The IMAX screen offers a totally immersive experience.Although the original 1960s auditorium has gone Empire have done a superb job on this conversion.
With both the Curzon and Picturehouse on Shaftesbury Avenue I think Odeons art house properties further down the Avenue and at Panton Street will quickly close.
It would be a great shame if the last great cinema in Leicester Square was to be twinned.I just hope they follow James Hannaways example at the old Odeon in St Albans and turn this landmark cinema into something unique by reconfiguring the stalls into table seating with a bar at the rear under the circle overhang. I have rarely been impressed with Odeon conversions and bearing in mind that a new Odeon twin screen is to be built on the site of the Odeon West End I fail to see the commercial benefit of it .
CF100 the sound bleed was a fairly noticeable rumble heard five or six times for up to 30 seconds..However the film in question was Lucy which has several explosive scenes.
Incidentally Oz was screened in the academy ratio and there was no light bleed which gave the impression that the huge screen was masked.
Just been back to the IMAX screen at the Empire..there is definite sound bleed from the IMPACT screen and very noticeable during Wizard of OZ (which looked fantastic)
Both screens are doing good business in the evenings which bodes well for the future of the Empire but the sound bleed needs fixing.
The only masked Imax is the Chinese in Hollywood as far as I know which also retains curtains.
Your Liemax comments are completely unjustified…have you actually sat in the IMAX auditorium???.Empire have done a superb job on converting the former circle and the sound and picture quality are superb on the second largest screen in London.
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.