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Former screen 2 is now bookable for Avengers: Infinity War from 26 April. It’s now named 4DX (rather than having a number however I suspect it’s now technically screen 4) and seating is reduced to 136 across 9 rows (8 rows of 16 and the back row of 8).
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/
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!
The pricing looks odd because it includes a 70p per ticket online booking fee. In cinema it will be £3.
The work they’re doing to the ceiling is starting to make sense now – I’ve uploaded a photo of the new recesses.
Having looked again the wall finish behind the concessions counter is temporary and presumably will be tiled.
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.
The exterior and the foyer have had some love ahead of Brief Encounter. The canopy and readograph have been repainted in gold, and there’s new illuminated signage and poster frames below. The foyer now has a parquet floor, has been repainted and given new lighting. Great to see it getting some TLC after years of neglect by UGC and Cineworld.
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.
Passed by here today and the large LED display is advertising Fifty Shades Freed for just £4.99 (still too much if you ask me!). Underneath in smaller text it says “At Vue Printworks and Vue Lowry” – oops! Actual price at this cinema is £17.49.
Gosh the finish on that ceiling is very bad – certainly wasn’t noticeable before the LED displays were put in. Interesting that you didn’t find the pillar LED strips particularly bright as they seemed almost too bright when I saw them myself – perhaps they’ve reduced the intensity?
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.
According to a friend the LED displays in the foyer are now active and the effect is very striking, and the Supercreen’s hula hoops have been taken down. The endless tinkering here is quite amusing although hardly professional.
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…
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.
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.
Reopens this afternoon. Cineworld have sent this email out to Unlimited members (accompanied by a voucher for free popcorn):
“We are pleased to share that Cineworld Leicester Square is officially open, just in time to catch blockbusters including Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther.
When catching your movie you’ll notice that Cineworld Leicester Square is going through a refurbishment. We know improvement works are annoying but you’re sure to be amazed by the difference."
I’m visiting after work so will be sure to report back with some photos, but I’m pretty much expecting a mostly finished foyer and not a lot else.
If you click on the time for a screening, there’s a little red summary tab at the top right of the screen which will show you the screen number. If you want to see thsee seating plan just add a ticket to the basket and click through to the next screen.
Added a photo showing the shiny bits on the foyer ceiling. As predicted a whole load of black and red sofas have been added.
Unfortunately screens 1-5 still have glaring lights but mercifully it looks like a lot of the individual LEDs in the luminaries are dying a premature death.
Reopens this Friday.
Screen 6 is now screen 3Screen 7 is now screen 5Screen 8 is now screen 6Screen 9 is now screen 7
Nothing is listed for the former screens 2, 4 and 5. My guess is that screen 2 will become screen 4 (for 4DX) and 4 and 5 will become 1 and 2.
The “shiny plastic strips” are basically black acrylic or similar material stuck flat to the ceiling in a pattern that centres on the pillars. I’ll take a photo on my next visit (and this time I’ll remember not to wear a red top and be mistaken for staff!)
Regarding the blue/cyan lighting, it can appear a different colour in different photos. The lighting on the foyer pillars is definitely more cyan, whereas I’d say the panels in the corridor are somewhere between cyan and blue.
I was sceptical of this refurb at first as it felt cold and clinical (especially with the removal of the bar area) and the new lighting in the screens was ridiculous, but as they’ve sorted that out and the foyer work comes together it feels fresh and modern.
It’s odd that there’s nowhere to sit in the main foyer (upstairs there are tables and chairs) but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some deceptively hard pleather sofas appear once all the work to the ceilings and the digital displays is finished. An unfortunate side effect of all these bright lighting features is that when you come out of a screen you have to walk through a red-lit door surround which after the darkness of the auditorium is overwhelmingly, almost painfully bright. Coming out of the Superscreen the blue-edged pillars leave an impression on your retinas!
I’m looking forward to seeing how well the extension integrates with the rest of the cinema. The plans don’t give much away about the foyer but there appears to be lots of floor space. Given the VIP screens will have their own bar I’d be surprised if we don’t see a bar for the main screens too as the old one seemed to do a steady trade. I guess a Starbucks is a possibility but there’s already an outlet at the O2.
Various quantities and configurations on there from the seller
The leopard print seats are now on sale on eBay from a seller called old2gold – yours for £90 a pair.
Foyer refurb update: shiny plastic strips have been fixed to the ceiling, mirroring the pattern on the floor below. I’m now wondering if we’ll see the usual big red star on the ceiling after all, given there’s one on the wall by the escalator. LED screens appear to be complete but aren’t active yet.
Looks like some renumbering of the screens is going on, as The Greatest Showman Sing-A-Long is now bookable from 23 February in screen 5 except the seating plan matches the layout of screen 7. I guess with a clean slate there’s no reason to keep the Superscreen and IMAX as screens 1 and 3 respectively.