Odeon Whiteleys & The Lounge

Queensway,
London, W2 4YN

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Odeon Whiteleys

Located in the west London inner-city district of Bayswater. Originally a planned project of Cinema International Corporation(CIC) it was opened by United Cinemas International(UCI) as the 8-screen UCI Whiteleys on 1st December 1989. It is located on the 3rd & 4th floors of the former Whiteleys of Bayswater department store. With a total seating capacity of 1,552, capacities in the screens varied from 333 down to 125. It was re-branded Odeon in late-2006.

Five boutique cinemas known as ‘The Lounge’ were converted from four of the former screens, opening on 13th January 2012 with admission for over 18’s only. Each one has reclining leather seats, and has tables for food. The admission price at opening was £18.00 per head (food is extra). Seating capacities are now provided for: 132, 111, 124, 138, 40, 30, 38, 48 & 40. It closed on 25th November 2018.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

SethLewis
SethLewis on January 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

This was one of my primary local cinemas in London over the first 10 years of my residence here…easy to book and use with decent restaurants in the complex and in the immediate neighbourhood…a not exhaustive list of pictures I’ve seen here would include Batman Returns, Husbands and Wives, The Player, Clear and Present Danger, Speed, Addams Family, True Lies, Hoffa, Sleepless in Seattle, Gosford Park, Air Force One, The Lion King, Hannibal, Insomnia, Twelve Days, The Royal Tenenbaums,Unforgiven, Mrs.Doubtfire,The Hand that Rocks the Cradle The Whiteley’s complex has undergone a number of changes over the years and is now a bit more upscale in terms of dining with the addition of Rowley Leigh’s Cafe Anglais. The chef has designed the menus for the Lounge screens.

d8rren
d8rren on October 7, 2018 at 7:53 pm

closing down on 25/11/18

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on October 8, 2018 at 5:14 am

Any reason for the closure ? Poor business ? Too much competition from Vue at Westfield ? Too large a rent increase to renew the lease ? ……. or what ?

I am rather surprised by this announcement

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on October 8, 2018 at 5:44 am

The shopping centre it sits in is being redeveloped – plans do include a replacement cinema at basement level: http://whiteleysdevelopment.co.uk/development.php

CF100
CF100 on October 10, 2018 at 3:23 pm

Whitleys Redevelopment — 15/10072/FULL is the main planning application; however, as changes were made to basement levels, the more obvious one to reference is a later variation application.

To quote from the summary: (My emphasis.)

Demolition of and redevelopment of building behind retained and refurbished facades to Queensway and Porchester Gardens facades to provide a mixed use development comprising three basement levels, ground floor and up to 10 upper floor levels, containing up to 103 residential units (Class C3), retail floorspace (Class A1 and A3) facing Queensway and arranged around a new retail arcade below re-provided central atrium and central retail courtyard, public car park, hotel (Class C1), cinema (Class D2), gym (Class D2), crèche (Class D1)…”

263 documents (yes, REALLY!) are associated with this application.

The proposed cinema is accessed from Ground Floor Level, with three lifts down to Basement Level 3, with the cinema’s demise shown on the documents titled “GROUND FLOOR PLAN” and “BASEMENT 03” in the above-linked planning application.

The cinema is briefly covered in the Design and Access Statement, specifically p3 (PDF page number) of the document titled “DAS PART 2” in the above-linked planning application.

It says that the proposed cinema was moved to level B3 to allow for an increased “clear height of 6.5m… to meet the spatial requirements of contemporary cinemas” and “minimise the potential impact to its immediate adjacenies.”

The page mentions “potential operators” and states that “it is assumed that the unit will be developed to shell and core only… the final demise configuration will be further developed…”


Hence, the cinema layout shown in the plans appears to be indicative only of a possible arrangement.

Nevertheless, here are the details:

On level B3 three auditoria are shown, each identical in size, with near wall-to-wall screens of ~15.5m (~50ft. width), in auditoria measuring ~18m (~60ft.) wide by ~19m wide (~62ft.) internally, or ~3700sq.ft. in area.

Each is shown having 5 rows of recliner seats in straight lines, except for 2-3 seats on each sides which are “toed in,” and the last row has 6 accessible spaces. Total seats per auditorium – 62 + 6 accessible.

A foyer area is also shown in the B3 plans, and the cinema’s entrance is shown on the Ground Floor Plan, with another lobby area, including seating (?).


Noting that the Design and Access Statement states a “clear height of 6.5m (~21ft.), it is clear that a 50ft. wide "scope” screen would, vertically, at best be a tight fit indeed, or impossible, suggesting that these “indicative” layouts are illustrative only.


Having a quick look at the first “Basement Impact Assessment” document, it provides an overview of the history of the site, alterations made to the Whitleys Department Store, and other historical material including “lost” rivers, should anyone reading this be interested in such.


N.B. For clarity, previous two posts removed; contents of which were amalgamated and revised for this post.


[ADDED TEXT TO OVERCOME “YOUR COMMENT APPEARS TO BE SPAM!” ERROR MESSAGE.]

CF100
CF100 on October 11, 2018 at 4:31 am

Addendum: The Section 106 agreement available in 15/10072/FULL (Description field: “WHITELEYS+CENTRE+S106+AGREEMENT”) includes a clause stating that the cinema must be ready for occupation prior to the occupation of the retail units.

Further, in the previously linked variation application (16/12203/FULL,)the “Decision Notice” document in which permission is granted includes a condition stating that the cinema demise is restricted to such use only, with one reason given being “to safeguard the amenities of adjoining residents and future residents of the development.”

The_Doctor
The_Doctor on November 26, 2018 at 6:31 pm

Just a correction on some of the details; when it originally opened screen 1 alone, had a capacity for 1200 people, screen 2 was 900. It had the largest auditoriums outside of central London. I worked there as an usher as part of the original team from November 1989 (first month was for training prior to the opening) to October 1990 and I worked the royal premiere of Ghostbusters II attended by Princess Anne. The multiplex had the capability of projecting a single print to all 8 screens, though that capability was never utilised, at least not while I worked there. For the royal premiere of Ghostbusters II, 8 separate prints were used for all 8 screens, but projected simultaneously.

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