Cineworld Cinema - The O2 Greenwich

The O2, Peninsula Square,
London, SE10 0AX

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Cineworld Cinema - The O2 Greenwich

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the southeast London district of Greenwich. Opened on 29th June 2007, this Vue cinema is located within the Millenium Dome (now known as The O2). It doesn’t occupy the whole building as there are two performance spaces, one of which has a seating capacity of 23,000 and there are shops as well!

The largest of the eleven screens has a seating capacity of 776, of which 220 of these are ‘Gold Class’ and are located in a mezzanine at the rear of the auditorium. This screen is equipped to screen digital presentations and has what is claimed to be the largest screen in London, which is 24.4m wide(just over 80feet).

Other screens in the cinema have a seating capacity ranging from 186 to 298. Facilities include a fully licenced bar and Green Room. It was taken over by Cineworld in June 2010.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 37 comments)

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 29, 2018 at 11:49 am

Visited the O2 again today. Installation of the LED displays in the foyer is almost complete but they’re not switched on yet. Ticket machines and Unlimited kiosks still not installed. Access to the upper level isn’t ideal at the moment – with both escalators out of action.

I saw Coco in screen 6 which due to the shape of the building is a reasonably wide but relatively shallow auditorium where the steeply raked stadium section starts fairly close to the screen (three rows at floor level which I think are far too close to the screen). In common with most of the screens here it’s not a curved screen, which combined with the silver coating makes for noticeable hot-spotting. Great sound though and really manages to hit some very low frequencies.

It would seem they’ve have been listening to the complaints about light levels, as the auditorium was suitably dark. The white strips in the floor at the entrance are nicely dimmed during the feature with no light spilling up the walls or onto the screen, and the ceiling lights have honeycomb baffles which completely cut out glare and keep light levels sensible. Even when the lights were brought up to mid-level during the credits they didn’t affect the screen. Also pleased to note that the illuminated fire exit signs don’t cast their green glow on the screen which has been a problem at this cinema in the past.

Screens 6-10 were refurbished after 1-5 and the Superscreen so I’m not sure if this is something that they’ve gone back and changed in all the screens or if they changed the specs and design before the work was started. Certainly an improvement on my visit for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Regarding Vue West End, the foyer looks nice but the exterior work looks shoddy and half-finished, particularly the canopy over the exit in Leicester Court which last time I passed through was dented, with flaking paint and parts missing.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on January 31, 2018 at 3:14 pm

Foyer refurb update: shiny plastic strips have been fixed to the ceiling, mirroring the pattern on the floor below. I’m now wondering if we’ll see the usual big red star on the ceiling after all, given there’s one on the wall by the escalator. LED screens appear to be complete but aren’t active yet.

CF100
CF100 on February 3, 2018 at 9:10 am

Zappomatic: Your photo of the corridor to Screens 1-5 looks good; I especially like the cyan coloured decorative lighting.

What are “shiny plastic strips”?

On the subject of the Vue West End, I’ll respond in detail (“oh no?!”) later on its CT page.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 3, 2018 at 10:30 am

The “shiny plastic strips” are basically black acrylic or similar material stuck flat to the ceiling in a pattern that centres on the pillars. I’ll take a photo on my next visit (and this time I’ll remember not to wear a red top and be mistaken for staff!)

Regarding the blue/cyan lighting, it can appear a different colour in different photos. The lighting on the foyer pillars is definitely more cyan, whereas I’d say the panels in the corridor are somewhere between cyan and blue.

I was sceptical of this refurb at first as it felt cold and clinical (especially with the removal of the bar area) and the new lighting in the screens was ridiculous, but as they’ve sorted that out and the foyer work comes together it feels fresh and modern.

It’s odd that there’s nowhere to sit in the main foyer (upstairs there are tables and chairs) but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some deceptively hard pleather sofas appear once all the work to the ceilings and the digital displays is finished. An unfortunate side effect of all these bright lighting features is that when you come out of a screen you have to walk through a red-lit door surround which after the darkness of the auditorium is overwhelmingly, almost painfully bright. Coming out of the Superscreen the blue-edged pillars leave an impression on your retinas!

I’m looking forward to seeing how well the extension integrates with the rest of the cinema. The plans don’t give much away about the foyer but there appears to be lots of floor space. Given the VIP screens will have their own bar I’d be surprised if we don’t see a bar for the main screens too as the old one seemed to do a steady trade. I guess a Starbucks is a possibility but there’s already an outlet at the O2.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 5, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Added a photo showing the shiny bits on the foyer ceiling. As predicted a whole load of black and red sofas have been added.

Unfortunately screens 1-5 still have glaring lights but mercifully it looks like a lot of the individual LEDs in the luminaries are dying a premature death.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 16, 2018 at 7:10 am

According to a friend the LED displays in the foyer are now active and the effect is very striking, and the Supercreen’s hula hoops have been taken down. The endless tinkering here is quite amusing although hardly professional.

CF100
CF100 on February 21, 2018 at 2:29 pm

I visited the O2 today, alas for the purpose of meeting someone, and not for the cinema.

(Brit Awards were imminent so I decided to get out of there ASAP after the meeting finished!)

However, I did have a quick visit to Cineworld’s foyer. The “wrap around” of video LED modules is indeed active, and quite impressive.

The LED strips on the columns didn’t seem very bright, and the colour wasn’t interesting either, albeit they are probably using “milky” diffusers, which result in significant light loss.

The vertical LED strips either side of the main entrance escalators appear to be “addressable,” sometimes showing “rainbow” effects, other times just a linear strip of the same colour.

(N.B. “Pixel addressable” LED strips can be acquired, e.g. from eBay sellers, as those with integrated WS2812/APA102/etc. controllers. As with all Chinese-made generic product, caveat emptor!)

Floor tiles appear to be good quality, but the painted wall finishes I looked at were very poor indeed. It’s painfully obvious with the ceiling where the new video LED modules are bright enough to reveal the defects.

The gloss perspex/acrylic ceiling strips seem to be just stuck on to the ceiling with no backlighting to be added. Perspex is fairly expensive stuff (at least priced per sq. m.) and it can yield fantastic results, with many options including sparkle/metallic/pearlescent variants; I can’t help but think that this isn’t the way to use it to best effect.

The foyer looks good in photos, but in my view, more attention to detail is needed. Above all, given the expense of the video LED modules, it seems very odd that the walls aren’t even remotely smooth.

Sofas looked reasonable, but I forgot to try them out!

Photos uploaded: Foyer/new video LED modules “wrap around” display, close up of poorly finished foyer wall (including dent!), main entrance escalators/stairs with “rainbow” LED strips.

As a positive note, I hadn’t realised just how easy the O2 is to get to on the Jubilee Line from London Bridge. I shall return to check out the Superscreen…

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 22, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Gosh the finish on that ceiling is very bad – certainly wasn’t noticeable before the LED displays were put in. Interesting that you didn’t find the pillar LED strips particularly bright as they seemed almost too bright when I saw them myself – perhaps they’ve reduced the intensity?

CF100
CF100 on March 11, 2018 at 3:47 am

Zappomatic: Compared to the “commercial grade” RGBW LED strip I have*, I wouldn’t say it’s anywhere near as bright without a diffuser, even just turning one of the four LEDs in each chip on at full intensity. I think mine is somewhat brighter if I add a milky/opal diffuser.

With a clear lens-type diffuser or no diffuser, it’s actually dazzlingly bright directly viewed, particularly at close proxmity, possibly even to a dangerous extent—given that theirs are installed on the columns/pillars, one can imagine, say, kids being “stupid”, so I’m not sure such intensity would be sensible in that application.

OTOH, mine is concealed and angled towards a matt black finished wall (acoustic absorption), so I need as much output as possible!

That said, even with a more modest output, as a narrow “linear” light source, the LED strips may well appear rather bright compared to a darkened cinema auditorium.

Did you also find the “linear” LED mountings previously on the sidewalls/ceiling of the O2’s Superscreen excessively bright?

(* Dexxon Lighting 24V – 60x RGBW 5050 LEDs/m – 19.2W/m – IP20 LED strip. N.B. I wouldn’t trust any of the specs on that page!)

CF100
CF100 on May 11, 2018 at 5:29 am

The website of architectural practice Chapman Taylor has the following pages of relevance:

Chapman Taylor’s industry-leading cinema expertise.

Project page – Refurbishing, extending and equipping the largest cinema venue in London.

Summary of selected information from this pages:

  • Refurbishment of existing phase completed.
  • They are involved with the fit-out of the 7 screen extension phase, with scheduled completion by the end of 2018.
  • The O2 Cineworld will then be the “largest cinema complex in London.” (Not clear on what metric they are using, presumably gross area; surely not screen count?)
  • 4DX confirmed for extension, which will also include VIP screens.

The pages include photos of auditoria and lobby areas, including a shot of the Superscreen clearly showing the speakers added for Atmos, as well as ironically demonstrating the folly of what looks like a floating screen. (I suppose tabs and movable masking wouldn’t make for a “cutting edge cinema”!)

I’m slightly confused by the photo of the auditorium fitted with purple-coloured stretch fabric wall finishes, as it doesn’t seem to fit with Cineworld’s current house style?

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