Vue West End

3 Cranbourne Street,
Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7AL

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The Warner West End in July 1991

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally on this site was a playhouse theatre, Daly’s Theatre, which was opened on 27th June 1893 and designed by architect Spencer Chadwick. It was closed on 25th September 1937, and was purchased by Warner Bros. to be demolished. Warner’s built the new Warner Theatre on the site which opened on 12th October 1938 with Errol Flynn in “The Adventures of Robin Hood”.

The architects of the Warner Theatre were E.A. Stone and T.R. Somerford. The frontage was faced with reconstructed marble with a large relief panel by sculptor Bainbridge Copnall in each corner depicting spirits of sight and sound. There is a large central tower feature in a concave recess bearing the ‘Warner’ name. The 1,789 seat cinema was equipped with a 3Manual Compton organ. The original Warner Theatre was twinned in 1970 and by 1981 there were 5-screens inside the building and it was known was the Warner West End. The auditorium section of the original Warner Theatre was demolished in the mid-1990’s.

Nine new auditoriums were built behind the original facade. In 2010 the seating capacities in the screens are: Screen 1: 177, Screen 2: 126, Screen 3: 300, Screen 4: 298, Screen 5: 414, Screen 6: 264, Screen 7: 410, Screen 8: 180 and Screen 9: 303.

It has an excellent location on Cranborne Street on the corner of Leicester Square and occasional premieres are held here.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 50 comments)

Mike_Blakemore on April 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Hmm. I’m an Ex ABC man From the Sir Philip Walter era. When ABC was at it best…

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Thanks for that clip rasLXR. It was fantastic!

davepring on May 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm

This cinema is now looking very tatty externally.The LED info boards no longer work the box office windows are partially boarded up and the plastic concealing the Warner sign is peeling away.

CF100 on May 25, 2014 at 3:45 pm

The exterior of the VUE West End is a disgrace; in the Warner days (post 90s rebuild) it was an attractive and welcoming beacon with modern elements woven into the original façade.

A few days ago I entered the ground floor foyer and could not see any obvious way to interact with staff selling tickets (maybe they sell them at the concession stand like Empire Cinemas?) nor was there any information on showtimes other than by using the electronic ticketing machines.

On a recent trip to Croydon, I had a quick look inside the Grant’s Entertainment Centre. The main lobby for the VUE situated within is on the top floor, but there are ticket offices on the floor below. These were also closed, with not even a sign to say where tickets could be purchased from; at least the showtimes were posted on the wall. (I have otherwise never visited that cinema and certainly the lobby on the top floor was busy with people queuing for the concession stands.)

I have not seen any screenings at the VUE West End in a couple of years but last time (Screen 7) the picture and sound was still very good, though the seats needed to be reupholstered or replaced and IIRC one of the ceiling tiles at the back was pushed up slightly for wiring! I imagine it has further deteriorated since then?

davepring on June 3, 2014 at 11:03 am

I think Vue are running this and the ex Apollo on Lower Regent Street into the ground.The gold curtains in the premier screens are no longer used and the auditoriums are looking dismal and badly lit.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on June 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

They did use the gold curtains during the BFI London Film Festival and it made for a nice presentation. I have never seen them used during regular performances. What a shame!

Gooper on June 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm

I wonder though, if they’re letting this house degrade so that it can be demolished and replaced by something even more degraded. Sorry to be a bit negative…

Mike_Blakemore on June 21, 2014 at 2:26 am

Hmm @ Gooper. I would not call your comment negative .. Hmm More incisive.. or Probably right.. Then again I am cynical ..

CF100 on September 23, 2014 at 7:44 am

Looking worse than ever, I’ve uploaded a pic of peeling paint!

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on October 12, 2015 at 2:41 am

I’m currently attending the BFI London Film Festival 2015, and they are not using their curtains. If they have them, then why not use them? It makes for a more polished and professional presentation.

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