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Installation of the LED ribbon display in the foyer continues at a glacial pace… as of last night there were power cables hanging out of the wall where previously there were none! Ticket machines and Unlimited kiosks still not installed.
Coke dispensers have now been replaced by Pepsi, rolling out across the chain. Lavazza replaces Coffee Republic and the cups have shrunk drastically, for which Cineworld are rightly getting a pasting for on Twitter (I had an interesting email exchange with their customer services department where the agent denied that the new cups are smaller).
In screen 3 last night, three out of the eight obnoxiously bright and glaring LED downlights in the ceiling were off – not sure if this is a response to complaints about light levels or if they’ve just died a premature death.
The refurbished corridors feel wider than before. It took me a while to work out why – the old curved wood effect door surrounds stuck out a lot more than the new ones, which are incredibly brightly backlit in red. Slight design flaw in that the screen number is only on the outside of the enclosure, but some of the screen entrances are side by side eg. screen 2’s number is obscured by the entrance to screen 3.
The Superscreen at the O2 certainly sounds good, but it’s not quite on a par with its counterpart in Leicester Square (not helped by the acoustics). My point of reference is the Dolby Atmos “Unfold” trailer – the larger room means the separation is a lot more effective at the O2 but it lacks the sheer depth, warmth and immersion achieved in Leicester Square.
I saw a film in screen 4 on 30 December (side masking not used, grr!) and hadn’t been back until 7 January (The Greatest Showman, Superscreen), so some time between those dates.
Fortunately the backlit panels by the escalator look a bit more evenly lit in person, but they’re not perfect.
When the lights are dimmed for the main feature, the hula hoops near the entrances to the screen remain quite visible thanks to the bright white lights in the floor shining up and casting shadows. It’s not particularly distracting but doesn’t seem intentional! More positively the downlighters under the balcony are all fitted with honeycomb baffles.
Zooming in on my original photos the sidewall speakers appear to be JBL.
On the Cineworld website I’m seeing a banner stating that the cinema is closed and to visit Picturehouse Central. It’s served as an ad so if you’ve got an ad blocker running you probably won’t see it.
They had Tensabarriers in front of the doors to screens 4 and 5 and had moved the saggy leather sofas from around the foyer to be in front of them just to drive the message home! (Made the mistake of sitting on one of those a few months ago, was very hard to get back up again)
Refurbishment still ongoing! In the foyer the power bus and fixings for the LED displays have been installed, totally surrounding the whole space. Ticket machines have not yet been installed and thereMs still an absence of seating.
In the Superscreen they’re installing what look like giant hula hoops on the side walls, presumably these will light up once this work is complete as they take the place of the wires previously hanging out of the wall. (Photo added). They’re not perfectly round so look a bit shoddy!
Today is Odeon Leicester Square’s last day before closing for refurbishment. Kind of surprised they’re not keeping the Studios open as they’re pretty much self contained and were refurbished fairly recently. With Cineworld also closed, Vue must be rubbing their hands with glee at a whole month without any competition on the square (nearby Odeon Luxe Haymarket and Empire Haymarket notwithstanding)!
Noticed in the cinema state that it’ll be closed from tomorrow until 6 February. The doors to screens 4 and 5 have been blocked with sofas and the foyer generally feels tired and ready for the refurb.
Contrary to the email I posted above, this cinema’s last day before closing for refurbishment works will be Sunday 7 January.
Licensing variation application made to serve alcohol from two additional locations (presumably main kiosk and upstairs kiosk), and also to allow alcohol to be consumed in all screens.
My post last month has an error in it… adults are £6, not £14!
Just back from my first visit here in a while. The disruptive part of the refurbishment work seems to be over with toilets and the usual access routes to the screens reinstated.
Barring some cladding to the outside of the lift all traces of the previous decor have gone from the foyer. In common with other new or refurbished Cineworlds it features a glossy, sparkly red and black floor (which must be fun when wet!) and dark grey walls and ceilings. Lighting is by way of red and blue spotlights in the ceiling which interesting seem to use a coloured filter glass rather than a coloured or colour changing LED. Previously round pillars have had their cladding stripped back so they’re now square and much more compact, and their corners are lit with incredibly bright cyan LEDs (which burn into your retina when leaving a dark screen). The wall behind the escalator is lit with backlit coloured squares plus a red star. So far no sign of the typical ribbon of LED display or ceiling-suspended red star but it’s obvious where these are going to go.
Brand new concessions counter with Blockbusters style red, white and black hexagonal tiles at the back and a very bright and colourful internally lit counter. All menus etc are displayed on a continues strip of LCD displays. The standalone Baskin Robbins ice cream counter has been removed and integrated into the run of the main counter, freeing up circulation space in the foyer.
What was once the bar is now yet more circulation space and there’s wiring and signage ready for a long row of ticket machines under the escalator. Clearly this is an exercise in preparing for greater volumes of people passing through once the extension opens. Hopefully they’ll add some seating as at the moment there is nothing to sit on whilst waiting.
Toilets have been refurbished to a good standard with a similar layout to before however they now have a door at the entrance – you did sometimes get toilet whiffs in the corridor previously!
Tinkering with the Superscreen continues – the Dolby Atmos installation sounds good however there are still random white wires hanging out of the walls at high level so maybe more to come? The original blue ribbons of light across the ceiling have gone, replaced by red-lit troughs containing speakers. The 2007-vintage plethora of cold white LED downlighters has been replaced by a smaller number of more modern warm-white ones. Surprisingly given Cineworld’s apparent mania for over-illuminating screens, these are an improvement: under the old set up most of them would stay on during the film at a very low level, including a row right in front of the screen. With the new ones only the spots above stairs and walkways stay on, dim enough so as not to have any negative impact. Stair edges are well lit in red.
I’ll reserve judgement on how I feel about the refurb when the extension is done. At the moment in its unfinished state it feels like a cheapening of the space, because the unusually plush bar area added a more grown-up feel to things. But I guess it would be fair to say that the main foyer area was becoming a little stale.
That would be Score by Richard Myhill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnqhK9ZwY2E
Cineworld sent out an email to Unlimited members with Leicester Square set as their favoured cinema. Text below:
We are contacting you because you have Cineworld Leicester Square listed as your favoured cinema.
Exciting news! Cineworld Leicester Square will be undergoing a refurbishment in the new year, so you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favourite films in our new look cinema.
So that we can look our best as soon as possible, Cineworld Leicester Square will temporarily closed from Wednesday 10th January 2018 until early February for some of the works to take place. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this will cause, and to make up for us being out of action in January, we would like to let you know that your January Unlimited membership is on us!
If you pay annually, we will credit your account with an additional month of Unlimited membership. If you pay monthly we’ll apply a one month credit to your account in January.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to Cineworld Leicester Square soon. In the meantime, our other London cinemas at Cineworld Fulham Road, Cineworld The O2, Cineworld West India Quay, Cineworld Wandsworth, Cineworld Enfield, Cineworld Ilford, Cineworld Wood Green, Cineworld Bexleyheath, Cineworld Feltham, Cineworld South Ruislip and Cineworld Wembley will all be open as usual.
The Cineworld Team
Superscreen balcony getting another refurb in the new year, according to Cineworld’s Twitter account. My guess is conversion to VIP with relciners – interestingly the most recent refurb could be considered a downgrade on what was there before with the tables etc taken out and seating matching the main floor.
Something that surprised me is that rather than making Picturehouse Central available free of charge to Unlimited members during the refurb, they are instead giving members with Leicester Square chosen as their favourite cinema a free month. I suspect Picturehouse Central is busy enough now compared with when it first opened that the influx of people could cause problems.
Closing for refurb from 10 January until early February.
Reopens Thursday 14 December with Battle of the Sexes, Blade of the Immortal, Brigsby Bear, Stronger, The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project and The Man Who Invented Christmas.
Now has 45 seats in screen 1 (plus 1 wheelchair space), 49 seats in screen 2 (plus 1 wheelchairs space), 47 seats in screen 3 and 44 seats in screen 4. All screens are equipped with RealD.
Adult ticket prices have increased to £10 off-peak (Monday to Thursday) and £15 peak (Friday to Sunday).
The webpage is using photos of another Odeon Luxe so I fear some people might be a little disappointed by these dinky screens!
I have to qualify the news about Coke to Pepsi by stating that this came from a Cineworld barman rather than any official source!
Regarding mice there’s an interesting exchange on Twitter where apparently a mouse came out of one of the wall panels in screen 5 and ran across people’s laps/chests! And I was once in a screening at Haymarket when a woman across the aisle jumped up and screamed after a mouse ran across her foot.
The fact they’ve had UNICK in does suggest to me that they intend to carry out a proper refurbishment.
It seems Cineworld have solved the problem of every seat in the IMAX screen having a Pepsi Max logo – soon to be switching from Coke to Pepsi across the chain (bar supplier has already changed – now hoping they ditch Rollover and their awful nachos)
Some interesting shots of old murals and the original proscenium plasterwork: https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/odeon-cinema-aka-regent-theatre-westover-road-bournemouth-july-2017.t110311
They’re like a modern day kleptomaniacal Cannon (albeit without a parent company churning out dubious films)!
When it comes to refurbishments Cineworld seem to prefer to subject their customers to building sites rather than closing completely, although I could see how the layout here might prevent them trading through.
The best way I can describe it is, if you imagine a lot of LED bulbs or lights have multiple LEDs inside them rather than one single chip. Let’s say hypothetically that the 10cm diameter downlighter has 8 LEDs inside it – 4 of them go out for the trailers, then when the feature starts it drops down to two. So it’s a kind of dimming I suppose but comes across as very crude, would work better if they had a diffuser of some sort.