Empire Cinemas London Haymarket

63-65 Haymarket,
London, SW1Y 4RQ

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Zappomatic
Zappomatic on October 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Stage performance of Brief Encounter returns from March 2018 https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Emma-Rice-to-Bring-BRIEF-ENCOUNTER-to-UK-20171019

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on October 16, 2017 at 12:56 am

I’m not aware of any plans. Empire’s record with their older acquisitions isn’t brilliant but who knows? Previously UGC had planned to add screens here, and then before Cineworld acquired Picturehouse they had planned for Haymarket to become one of 20 “The Screening Rooms” luxury cinemas. This cinema seems to have been victim of takeovers happening at inopportune times.

It was tripled in 1977, and then had a Virgin refurb in 1997 involving creating a bar in the old circle. 20 years have passed again – what next?

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on October 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Thanks Zappomatic. So, is this talk of new plans just a red herring? Do Empire, to our knowledge, plan to do anything to the cinema?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on October 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Ah this is just plans of the cinema for their alcohol licence. They’re actually from the 1997 Virgin Cinemas refurb!

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on October 15, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Zappomatic, No, I have only the web link posted below by CF100 on 9 August.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on October 15, 2017 at 12:04 am

PhilipWW: I can’t find any planning applications. Do you have the reference number?

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on October 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Is someone able to summarize the plans that Empire have for the cinema? The planning documents are not particularly clear to me.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on October 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

Now doing £4.95 tickets on Tuesdays – cheapest cinema in the West End?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on October 13, 2017 at 12:24 am

Walked past here today, looked busy due to the BFI London Film Festival (it’s usually deserted). The purple walls in the foyer have been repainted in a cream/magnolia matt paint, with the false columns etc still in their previous yellow and gold. Coupled with the harsh lighting from the now-dilapidated fixture installed by Virgin Cinemas it looks surprisingly stark. Can’t tell if this is a quick fix or the start of something more thorough.

CF100
CF100 on August 9, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Zappomatic: The plans for the cinema are on Westminster Council’s site, e.g. http://idoxpa.westminster.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=KDGKTIRP10100

There is also a building control entry, dated 2010, for “Replacement of two structural beams due to corrosion and delamination.”

One therefore might wonder about the building’s overall condition.

Clearly plenty of scope for refurbishment and reconfiguration although I’m also cynical about its future.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on August 2, 2017 at 6:52 pm

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.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 17, 2017 at 6:49 pm

All tickets now £9.95 – that didn’t take long!

SethLewis
SethLewis on April 11, 2017 at 9:27 pm

With the Vue closed for refurb and the Odeon West End gone, you would think that they could manage some decent first run bookings for the big screen here

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm

I think Empire were a little late putting up listings for the film in screen 1, so it’s going to limp on its current state for a while yet. Five films being juggled across three screens next week.

cultman1
cultman1 on April 10, 2017 at 5:57 pm

hopefully….. I still have my reservations on the future of this theatre.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Had a poke around the online booking for the cinema and it looks like they haven’t sold a single seat in advance for any upcoming performances.

From Friday there’s nothing on in Screen 1. Event, or already refurbishing I wonder?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 6, 2017 at 9:19 pm

So, debranding inside began even before the final Cineworld customers had left. Bar had already been closed.

Reopens tomorrow as Empire from 7.30pm.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Empire webpage now set up: http://www.empirecinemas.co.uk/cinema_info/empire_london_haymarket/t45/

Given Empire don’t do the 10% discount for online bookings they are technically charging more than Cineworld were. I think they are really going to struggle with this seeing as Empire’s brand is not particularly well known in London.

As an Unlimited member I miss the days before Cineworld bought Picturehouse and they actually made an effort to compete in the arthouse market. Haymarket and Shaftesbury Avenue shared a listings poster and you often ended up with a really interesting and quirky selection of films across the two sites. The value of the West End card is diminished now that you have Fulham Road which most definitely isn’t in the West End, and Leicester Square where two of the screens carry a surcharge and all bar one of the other screens are so tiny that showings routinely sell out in advance. Getting to use Picturehouse Central for £5 is nice but that’s not really the point of the “Unlimited” card.

cultman1
cultman1 on April 6, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Make it a showcase single screen again as there are no other single screen left now. Use it for premieres like the old days. Realistically and seriously I think Empire will sell this off one way or the other

GPM10
GPM10 on April 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Going along this afternoon to use my Cineworld card here for the last time. I would echo the concerns of others on here regarding this cinema’s future, the admission prices proposed by Empire are not particularly inviting and even with the benefit of Cineworld’s Unlimited scheme, this has not been a well-filled cinema for many years. I would be very surprised to see them make a success of this place.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 4, 2017 at 10:47 pm

Confirmed last day as Cineworld is Thursday 6 April (@CineHaymarket Twitter account).

Given Empire’s love of tiny boothless screening rooms I can well see screens 2 and 3 subdivided, and maybe even use made of the abandoned bar in the basement. I just hope they don’t dare carve up screen 1.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm

It’s leased from the Crown Estate who I would imagine are keen to keep it to help bring footfall to their St James’s Market development.

cultman1
cultman1 on April 4, 2017 at 3:24 pm

or close it and sell the cinema to greedy property developers

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 4, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Cineworld have finally sent out an email to Unlimited members informing them that Haymarket will soon cease to be a Cineworld however it doesn’t specify a date, instead directing members to the Cineworld Haymarket webpage for updates. Right now there’s no date shown but listings don’t extend beyond Thursday (which lately isn’t all that unusual as this site seems to have been a bit tardy at getting its listings up).

The email states that the cinema will be taken over immediately by Empire when Cineworld leaves. I wonder if Empire will give this cinema the refurb it deserves, or will run it as a discount fleapit like their other non-multiplex sites? I do genuinely see them struggle to make this work as a full-price house with only three screens and no membership scheme.

Also looks like they’ll be recycling the old Leicester Square pages from their site: http://www.empirecinemas.co.uk/cinema_info/empire_leicester_square/t5/ . Will they be cheeky and refer to this as Leicester Square?

cultman1
cultman1 on February 24, 2017 at 11:34 am

maybe this historic cinema may be closed soon and converted to yet more flats?