Empire Cinemas - London Haymarket

63-65 Haymarket,
London, SW1Y 4RQ

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Showing 1 - 25 of 99 comments

Zappomatic on December 4, 2017 at 9:14 pm

The fact they’ve had UNICK in does suggest to me that they intend to carry out a proper refurbishment.

CF100 on December 4, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Planning application for temporary use as a theatre has been received by Westminster Council (24th November.)

There are no differences between the “existing” and “proposed” plans; however, they are a new set of drawings by UNICK Consulting, rather than those dating from 1997(!) in the licensing applications.

(Albeit they may have relied on existing drawings rather than carrying out a full survey, but these do have the convenience of including a printed scale, for those who might be bothered to actually measure e.g. the size of the auditoria, although I suspect that’s only myself!)

HowardBHaas on November 4, 2017 at 5:51 pm

I’ve added now to the photo gallery here my own photo of the concession foyer. It looks much better now especially without the terrible metal trough thing that ran along the ceiling.

Zappomatic on November 4, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Much better https://instagram.com/p/BWDYcwjDOxb/

Zappomatic on November 4, 2017 at 5:43 pm

As illustrated in this Instagram post, the foyer lighting feature installed by Virgin in the 90s has been replaced by much more appropriate chandeliers, and the cove lighting appears to have been fixed too. Can’t tell what colour it’s been painted now but seems the white was just undercoat. https://instagram.com/p/BZhoOOEDGbO/

Zappomatic on November 4, 2017 at 1:58 am

Other cheap cinemas in London include Peckhamplex at £4.99 (3D £5.99) any day and time, and Vue Harrow and Wood Green at £5.99 for all 2D screenings.

Billy on November 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Can’t be many other London cinemas that cheap – Prince Charles’s lowest tickets start at £4.50 for weekday matinees (Member price), and Empire Walthamstow is still £3.95 on Tuesdays, possibly Sutton too when that reopens next month.

Zappomatic on October 25, 2017 at 9:55 pm

The next cheapest West End first run ticket I’m aware of is Vue Piccadilly when using their Super Mondays promo, at £4.99 (requires you to get a code from their website first).

CF100 on October 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

I can’t imagine Empire Cinemas spending £ms to bring the venue up to scratch, too much competition and lots of high quality up-to-date screens in the LSQ-Piccadilly area.

Takes more than a lick of paint to finish a foyer to current expectations. ;–)

£4.99 for a West End cinema ticket… crikey!

Zappomatic on October 20, 2017 at 1:49 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 on October 15, 2017 at 11:56 pm

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 on October 15, 2017 at 12:30 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 on October 15, 2017 at 11:34 am

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

PhilipWW on October 15, 2017 at 11:31 am

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

Zappomatic on October 14, 2017 at 11:04 pm

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

PhilipWW on October 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm

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

Zappomatic on October 14, 2017 at 9:58 am

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

Zappomatic on October 12, 2017 at 11:24 pm

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 on August 9, 2017 at 6:52 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 on August 2, 2017 at 5:52 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 on April 17, 2017 at 5:49 pm

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

SethLewis on April 11, 2017 at 8:27 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 on April 11, 2017 at 3:11 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 on April 10, 2017 at 4:57 pm

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

Zappomatic on April 10, 2017 at 4:49 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?