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The cinema has confirmed via Facebook that the Superscreen now has Dolby Atmos.
Hadn’t noticed Empire Cinemas still have their head office listed as being Leicester Square. Wonder if it’s really just a front for a PO box? Otherwise it’s slightly embarrassing, a bit like still living with your ex after you’ve split up… Although, Empire’s structure looks like a rather questionable house of cards with each cinema registered as a separate company in Jersey. Company names take the form of (Location) Cinema 2 Ltd eg. Walthamstow Cinema 2 Ltd. Tax efficient, some might say.
According to a press release the 50,000 square feet extension (along with an indoor trampoline park of the same size) breaks ground later this month.
Cineworld O2’s Facebook page says the Superscreen reopens this Thursday, but no indication of what’s changed however the balcony won’t be available immediately.
moviebuff82: No. Not sure what the busiest in Europe is but in the UK the highest grossing cinema is Vue Westfield London.
Planning application (ref 17/03758/FULL1) submitted to remodel and extend as Bromley Picturehouse including a roof extension to the front with a new screen, and the former Odeon call centre at the rear converted to a cafe/bar with 84 covers with another screen sitting on top. Screens 2 and 3 will received curved, stepped seating and larger screens, and screen 1 will have new wooden stepping built over the existing concrete to increase legroom.
According to the heritage statement it seems the interior and exterior will be substantially restored to more closely resemble the original design:
“The exisiting building is Locally Listed and, the frontage in particular, in a substantial state of disrepair. The proposed development will maintain and restore the prominent features of the High Street elevation, refurbishing the existing faience frontage, reinstating the original rounded wings to the facade, replacing the existing front doors, and replacing the existing canopy with a slimmer, outward curving canopy as per the original design.
Additionally, the application proposes the restoration of prominent architectural features internally, including distinctive ceiling and wall features throughout the foyers and main auditoria."
New seating capacities:
Screen 1: 324 seats + 4 wheelchair
Screen 2: 92 seats + 1 wheelchair
Screen 3: 80 seats + 1 wheelchair
Screen 4: 263 seats
Screen 5 (above cafe): 87 seats + 1 disabled
Screen 6 (above entrance): 70 seats
Plans are by Earle Architects.
Yep, flies! The smaller studio type screens all have their projector in a little box slung from the ceiling at the back, and on at least three occasions I’ve experienced a fly trapped inside casting a blurry shadow on the screen every time it flew around. Going by complaints on social media it’s a recurring issue, particularly in screen 8 for some reason.
Sagging padding aside I still prefer the seats Empire installed in the IMAX and Impact/Superscreen here over the Lino Sonego seats Cineworld are putting in their large format screens – they look the part but aren’t especially comfortable.
Thank you CF100 and Lionel for those photos, great to compare the old and the current. They certainly went with a blingy, in your face look back in the late 80s!
Wonder how long the Empire and Pepsi Max logos will linger on on the seats in IMAX and Superscreen, if Cineworld aren’t touching the other auditoriums just yet?
The smaller auditoriums are generally in good shape, they just need to fix the masking in a couple of them and replace or deep clean the carpet (possibly change the carpet in the rows to a hard surface). And maybe sort out the issue they keep having with flies getting trapped inside the projector enclosures!
Ah I stand corrected! But yes your description of the access to screen 6 is correct and involves making a bit of a sharp turn, as well as confidence that you really are taking a door from the foyer to a screen and won’t suddenly find yourself standing in a yellow puddle in the street.
Here is the exterior of the fire exit that leads out from the stairs to screen 6: https://goo.gl/maps/9vkhJdKJtRA2 – note the lovely streaks of liquid running down the pavement (I think you can guess what it is)!
Whereas the stairs to 7-9 have plush wall coverings and quite theatrical lighting, the stairs to screen 6 are lit by standard fluorescent dome lights on the walls with some of the directional signage provided by bits of A4 paper (seriously).
Quite a lot of work going on to fit in the 4DX, with the floor lowered and old projection booth brought back into use.
“Breaking of the lower level concrete slab of the room and rebuild at a lower level to increase the space required for the system and new seating arrangement. Installation of suspended trusses between the columns which will support the equipment for the 4D effects (wind fans, water spray tanks, snow machine, fog machine) – Removal of all projector and installation of new one at the back of the room, in the former projection booth. – New floor, wall and ceiling finishes – New finishes at the access staircase and lobby. – All fire escapes remain unchanged.” (with thanks to CF_100 for finding the building control application)
Interesting! So the stadium conversion by Empire that resulted in the back rows being uncomfortably close to the ceiling will all be undone after a mere five years or so.
I actually quite like the decor on the stairs to screen 2 and the upper screens, which feels quite classy and is still in good condition (apart from the staircase to screen 6 with grubby wallpaper, cheap lighting and a delightful whiff of urine from the fire exit doors!).
As expected the non-existent row A being bookable is just an error. The view from Empire’s short-lived beanbag seats must have been truly terrible.
Row A has made a reappearance on the bookable seat map for the Superscreen (or what Empire called Impact). This row was originally beanbag seating, but it’s absent in most photos of the screen – seats start at row B which causes a lot of people to sit in the wrong wrong as the row letters and seat numbers are on the floor and are very hard to see, so they count the rows. I’ll report back tomorrow as to whether this is just an error on the website or if some sort of seating has been installed here.
Also no programming next week, I think it’s safe to assume closed for conversion.
No programming in this screen this week, presumably closed for conversion to 4DX.
Screen 2 now seems to have closed for its conversion to 4DX. To compensate West End Unlimited card holders no longer pay a surcharge for the Superscreen.
Foyer as seen in 1986:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/2105035479/in/album-72157603441125079/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/2105037121/in/album-72157603441125079/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/2105817336/in/album-72157603441125079/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/2105819354/in/album-72157603441125079/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/2105820902/in/album-72157603441125079/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/2105822748/in/album-72157603441125079/
Just spotted the snack prices on the boards in the UNICK link. A tenner for popcorn and a drink!? And I thought Cineworld was expensive…
Have to say it was a bit of a surprise walking past this last night and seeing that huge screen briefly displaying an advert that had nothing to do with the cinema. Kind of tacky, really. They also need to sort out the canopy over the exit in Leicester Court which has a big chunk of cladding missing and peeling paint, and also see to the poster boxes there which are looking almost derelict. Sort those out and give the windows a clean and they’re done!
The Supersreen despite having a refurb fairly recently is now closed again until 18 September. My suspicion is that they didn’t actually install Atmos during the first closure despite advertising it as so equipped – saw Beauty and The Beast there some months ago and couldn’t spot any additional speakers and there were wires hanging out of the wall (naughty Cineworld!).
Cineworld’s first half year results presentation features an image of part of the foyer refurb. Starfield ceiling is gone and no more carpet, but they’re keeping the brass handrails and picking this out with gold accents in the ceiling. Sadly it doesn’t show what’s happening to the retail section of the foyer.
CF100: Yes, there’s a staircase to the right as you go in. Once you’re up on that level the bar is sort of L-shaped.
The Icon bar is quite a handy place for a drink before a film, always bizarrely empty even when they’re doing half price drinks 5pm-8pm Monday to Friday (a G&T and a beer came to less than £6 on my last visit).
The viability of this place must be seriously in question now that it’s not propped up by a chain with a membership scheme. I’ve been having a look at their seat maps just before the posted performance times and it’s not uncommon for the smaller screens to have zero seats sold (ie. only the house seats greyed out) and screen 1 to have fewer than 10 seats sold.
What will the future hold? I’d imagine now that a traditional projection booth isn’t required the two basement screens could be chopped up into four screens without reducing the screen sizes. I actually think Everyman could be the best fit for this cinema, using the disused stalls bar/soda fountain as a restaurant and re-stepping screen 1 to fit in luxury seats and sofas.
I complained on their Facebook page about huge queues at the concessions counter before Dunkirk (which they’re pretty much selling out in the evenings) and how it made it difficult to get to the toilets. Their response said that the refurbishment would address this congestion issue so could we be looking at a totally new foyer layout?