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Screen 6 reopens on Thursday, with seating capacity reduced from 48 to 38, across three rows (previously four).
Regarding the picture here I actually found it to be one of the brighter 3D presentations I’ve seen, and there was practically no ghosting.
I was not impressed at all with the picture and sound at Wandsworth, other than the sheer size of the screen – picture appeared washed-out with poor black levels and appalling ghosting (so much so that the couple sitting in front of me turned around during the credits and asked me if the 3D was “dodgy” for me or if it was just them), and the sound was pretty lifeless. I’ve not been back to see if this was a one-off or if it really is this poor.
Effects for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom seemed quite effective although there was a moment when the strobes stayed on long enough for it to feel as though the auditorium was floodlit. I was dressed for yesterday’s weather and at times ended up feeling uncomfortably cold and wet thanks to the prolonged wind and rain effects!
When I say beams I mean that the suspended ceiling is interrupted by an off-centre grid of solid sections around 75cm wide that sit flush, presumably supporting the floor above.
For Unlimited cards do bear in mind that a surcharge of £2-£6 is payable every time you see a premium format although for some reason the Superscreen in Leicester Square is included if you have a West End card. Plenty of referral codes about online that will get you your 13th month for free – mine is RAF-35LH-35FJ-42BF-17NU (moderators please delete if this is not allowed).
The tubing hanging out at the front of the seats is a leg tickler.
Paid my first visit to this screen since the conversion today (for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and I have to say I am impressed. The screen is noticeably larger than before and has a nice curve to it. Perhaps some tweaks have been made since CF100’s visit as brightness and black levels were good. LFE seemed decent and at a couple of points caused the wind-effect fans to rattle but I agree that the screen speakers could have sounded a little brighter.
I sat in row C which due to the spacing between the seats is far back enough be able to get the entire screen into your field of vision but I think for any future visits I would probably choose row D.
From a structural point of view I noticed that the strange little foyer space under the seating has been eliminated however it’s now possible to walk behind the back row. I think as well as the auditorium floor being lowered the ceiling has also been raised as the suspended ceiling is interrupted by a pattern of what I assume are concrete beams (which sit flush with the rest of the ceiling).
I did clock that socket but fortunately my phone had enough juice!
The seats in the back row closest to the projector have their own special amenity in that the rails next to them make a great place to hang coats and the floor space behind them is perfect for storing shopping bags. :)
Correction: side surrounds are not embedded in the walls but it does highlight that lighting levels during trailers are low enough that they can’t be seen.
Oddly there are no letters to indicate the rows.
Screen 1 is now looking very smart and the new layout works well. Black carpet as seen elsewhere in this cinema and brass handrails but the rest of it follows Cineworld’s current fit-out with Black wall coverings and a red strip of LEDs around the wall above handrail height, and red Lino Sonego seating. The auditorium has been re-stepped more steeply so that heads don’t get in the way however this does mean that the two middle seats in the back row are missing because of the projector overhead. Seats don’t recline but are very comfortable and the legroom is vastly improved. Rows have a hard floor rather than carpet which will be easier to clean.
Screen does not appear to have adjustable masking and no longer has the red LED surround. Surround speakers are hidden in the walls.
Lighting levels in the screen are suitable low, with the honeycomb filters as seen in the upper screens at the O2. Photos to be uploaded shortly!
As far as I’m aware the current seats and carpets are from Virgin Cinemas' refurbishment which took place around 1997 – when Cineworld handed it over to Empire there were plenty of threadbare armrest and lots of duct tape covering sharp edges on the plastic shells covering the backs of the seats.
Screen 1 and 2 now bookable.
Screen 1 (formerly 5) has 44 seats across 4 rows Screen 2 has (formerly 4) has 78 seats across 5 rows
Going by the numbers on Empire Cinemas' orphaned webpages this is a reduction of 4 and 16 seats respectively. It looks as though screen 1’s layout has changed. Previously it had a single centre aisle but now has aisles on either end of the rows. Strangely the middle two seats of the back row are missing – shame to lose these as they had limitless legroom, but a smart move I think as viewing from the ends of the rows (particularly house right due to the screen not being centred) wasn’t great.
Nothing programmed for screens 5-7 tomorrow onwards.
Yes, and at the same price as the two smaller screens.
I realise this is in the realms of extreme minutiae, but given all internal signage installed by Empire Cinemas has been replaced (even in non-refurbished areas such as access to screens 6-9) regardless of whether it was branded, I was rather surprised to notice that the sign to the toilets as you exit the Superscreen appears to have been missed!
Yes, Superscreen is Cineworld’s name for what Vue called Screen 11. Huge screen as you say however the cavernous auditorium has acoustic issues.
My favourite non-IMAX large format screen is the Superscreen at Cineworld Leicester Square – it’s 0.5m narrower than the O2 one but is taller (1.9 ratio) and has an absolutely superb Dolby Atmos set up.
Screen 1 is currently being used as a live theatre, for a production of Brief Encounter.
A lot of building projects in London seem to be taking a long time lately, most likely due to the shortage of labour in the construction industry.
Sadly the Cineworld Leicester Square IMAX suffers from poor legroom thanks to installing chunky modern seats on the old 1960s stepping. Regarding screen sizes, due to the aspect ratio the picture for most digitally projected films will be larger in Leicester Square. The main reason to come to the BFI IMAX is to see IMAX 70mm presentations.
Since the refurb at the O2, including the balcony the Superscreen there now seats a total of 850. Prior to this it had a capacity of 785 and the seats on the balcony were in a VIP-style setup with small tables between each pair of seats.
I may be mixing up my screen numbers. However it seems that a few days after my post all performances in screen 2 were cancelled so either someone programmed that screen by mistake (meaning we could still see a revised seating plan) or things are taking longer than planned.
It’ll be a huge shame if this cinema is lost and I hope the mainstream media pick up on the threat it’s facing.
Screen 2 (formerly screen 5) is now bookable for performances from next Thursday. Layout and seat count is unchanged.
It appears Swindon Interiors have reused the photos of the Putney refurbishment on that page.
At long last the Empire Cinemas logo has been removed from the seats in the Superscreen. Still no sign of when screens 1 and 2 (formerly 4 and 5) will reopen but I look forward to seeing what they’ve done with them.
Demolition to commence this week.
As promised, here’s a short video of the new foyer: https://youtu.be/er5pqy9F_OY
Apologies for the shaky camera work!
Just visiting for the first time since the completion of the foyer refurb and it looks great! They’ve taken Empire’s padded door theme and run with it, with all doors covered in black suede padding and the entire back wall under the sloped ceiling! There’s lots of sofa seating, so it does still feel like a place to linger.
Refurb stops abruptly at the screen 5 and 6 landing although new signage is in place.
I’ll upload some video later tonight, and a couple of photos in just a moment.
Strangely the IMAX appears to have retained its padded doors albeit with simplified door handles, which looks a bit out of place.
On my visit the other day the wall had lines drawn on it to mark where the strips would be attached.