Palm Court Cinema

28a Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7LE

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The Circle in the Square 1909

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located next to what is today the Odeon Studios Cinema (former Odeon Mezzanine Cinema), Leicester Square in the heart of London’s West End theatre district. This building originally was occupied by the Cranbourne Club and part of it at ground floor level was converted into a 198 seat cinema (with standing room for 42)when it opened on 5th June 1909 as the Circle in the Square. The architect for the scheme was credited to J.P. Crosby. In the basement was a tea-room that seated 300.

It was the first full time cinema to open in Leicester Square and at that time it was located next to the Alhambra Theatre (later demolished for the Odeon). In 1914 it was renamed Cupid’s Cinema and remained so until 1926 when it was re-named to Palm Court Cinema. It closed in around 1928 due to competition from other cinemas that were opening in the locality.

The building underwent several changes of use over the years becoming the notorious Gargoyle Club, a restaurant, and an exclusive club called the 400 Club. In the 1970’s it became an up-market gay club called Adam’s, which in turn became a sleazy sex, bump and grind gay disco named Subway which was eventually closed down by the local authority. It then became the famous Comedy Store for several years.

From 3rd June 1992, the cinema part of the building has become a pub in the Weatherspoon’s chain called ‘Moon under Water’, while the former basement tea room became a nightclub called ‘Storm’ and ‘Club Koo’.

Contributed by KenRoe
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