Vue West End

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

Unfavorite 10 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 82 comments

CF100
CF100 on September 26, 2017 at 10:00 am

When I went there last month, there was still masking in Screen 6. Tabs are still there as well, albeit left open. Was going to go to Screen 5 yesterday to check out the Atmos installation but couldn’t fit it in. :–(

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on September 26, 2017 at 7:20 am

After its 1993 refurbishment 8 of the screens were full Scope screens with side masking. Just one (screen 2 I believe) had a 1.85 screen necessitating Scope movies being shown with top down masking; this was due to architectural constraints.

Is this still the situation after the 2017 refurbishment? Is the masking still there. With 80% plus of movies now made in Scope, the current vogue is for cinemas not to have side masking and for 1.85 ‘Flat’ movies to be shown pillarboxed on the Scope screens.

CF100
CF100 on September 1, 2017 at 8:22 am

Looks like they will be also be using a temporary cinema in Embankment Gardens again.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on August 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Just got the program for this year’s BFI London Film Festival, and I was surprised to see that they are again using the larger auditoriums of the Vue, considering the greatly reduced seating capacity after the renovation.

CF100
CF100 on August 30, 2017 at 1:50 pm

A number of photos of the facade, foyer and lobby areas of the refurbished Vue West End now uploaded.

CF100
CF100 on August 30, 2017 at 9:59 am

I paid a visit to the Vue West End yesterday to see the re-released 3D/4K transfer/restoration/conversion of “Terminator 2.”

The new foyer and associated auditorium access areas are very attractive, being bright, welcoming and fresh, yet warmly lit, in an appropriate way for a cinema. I could nit-pick, but in a nutshell they have done a fabulous job.

Brass balustrades in the escalator stairwell landings, along with marble tiles, are, I believe, retained from the original 1993 fit-out. All windows to Leicester Court were blacked out, and I had assumed that the automatic door exit from the escalators were out of use, but looking at a photo I had taken, I had most likely been confused.

Unfortunately, the screening was not such a positive experience. Only one screening was listed as scheduled, in Screen 5, and I had booked a seat in the centre of a row. Alas, after obtaining my tickets from the vending machine, on presenting my tickets, I was informed that the screening was now in Screen 6, which I gather was due to Screen 5 being used for an event. I expressed my dissatisfaction to their disinterested ears.

Once in the auditorium, I discovered that my reallocated seat was off-centre, and the centre seats in that row were later occupied by other patrons. “Non-sync” music was played before the feature, and I may be mistaken, but it sounded something like a bizarre “muzak” version of generic movie soundtrack material. Tabs were left open with only a blank screen shown.

At the scheduled programme time, a member of staff entered the auditorium and curtly announced from the rear that we would have to wait 10 minutes for the film. This seems bizarre for a digital presentation, and I can only imagine that the DCP was frantically ingested at the last minute or similar!

The film started with a “pop”, no preceding material being played, and ended similarly abruptly, with the house lights remaining dimmed even after the end credits, and patrons had to find their way out of the auditorium using the “torch” function of their mobile phones; one of them quipped, “this cinema is terminated!”

Picture quality was very good, but on the dark side with 3D glasses on, and the black level (with glasses off) a little high. Geometry was also good, but with a bit of a curve towards the screen edges at the bottom.

Sound quality was good, although I assume playback was slightly less than reference level, and the LFE seemed restrained. Still, maximum levels were easily handled, with clear and clean high frequencies at all times, albeit coloured by a little peakiness.

The better auditoria in the 1993 multiplex were built to achieve excellent acoustics, with the advantage of not being four parallel walls as today’s auditoria tend towards, and this was apparent today with a highly controlled reverberation time and overall flat room contribution, and very good front stereo imaging.

However, it must be said that Screen 6 has too small a screen size, with seating too far away, certainly by today’s standards, and pales in comparison to the new “large format” digital screens in a certain cinema only a couple of hundred feet or so away—or for that matter the Odeon Leicester Square from the front stalls. It would be adequate for a smaller scale film, but is not for a monumental affair like T2.

The auditorium was very comfortable with good seats and excellent air conditioning, albeit all black in colour.

As for the film, to my mind, it goes without saying that T2 has a vastly more coherent and structured plot, better characterisation and more depth than today’s average “summer blockbuster”. The new transfer is outstanding with no visible grain, and almost perfect colour grading to the originally intended tints. It looks almost new, albeit not quite as detailed as current digitally acquired material. The 3D conversion is generally on the conservative side.

On leaving the Vue West End, I complained to a member of staff, who was very friendly and understanding, clearly enthusiastic about cinema in general, and they apologised profusely saying that Vue were “deeply humilated” by what had happened with the T2 screening.

Based on today’s visit, having spent £6.6m to modernise the Vue West End to create a very attractive and comfortable premium flagship location, with pricing to match, Vue really need to improve the overall customer experience and presentation to a consistent standard.

I will definitely return in the belief that next time will be better…

I have taken a number of photos, uploads to follow—alas only limited shots of the auditorium as it was too dark after the film finished!

CF100
CF100 on August 25, 2017 at 6:21 am

The refurbishment is the subject of an article in the September 2017 edition of Cinema Technology Magazine, on p82, currently available at:

http://emag.cinematechnologymagazine.com/#page/82

Unfortunately, the article is not as extensive as one might have expected.

A few details from the article:

-The building work involved up to 90 workers in a single day.

-EOMAC were responsible for some of the fit-out including stretched fabric over acoustic absorption wall coverings.

-All projection and sound systems were installed by Sound Associates.

-Screens 5/7: 2xSony R515 projectors (stacked configuration)/Dolby CP850 Atmos processors/Dolby multi-channel amplifiers/Dolby SLS speakers.

-Other screens: Sony R320 projectors/Dolby CP750 processors.

-Screens 5/6/7/8: Harkness Clarus XC170 screens.

CF100
CF100 on August 11, 2017 at 7:58 am

Update to previous post: The surround speakers appear to be manufactured by SLS Audio, a company acquired by Dolby Labs. a couple of years ago.

All of their products feature ribbon high frequency transducers.

Zappomatic: £10 for popcorn and a drink is better than trying to hide a can of Coke in your trousers and having it “explode” just as you walk past the usher to enter the auditorium—as once happened to me back when it was the Warner West End! ;–)

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on August 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

Just spotted the snack prices on the boards in the UNICK link. A tenner for popcorn and a drink!? And I thought Cineworld was expensive…

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on August 10, 2017 at 7:33 am

Have to say it was a bit of a surprise walking past this last night and seeing that huge screen briefly displaying an advert that had nothing to do with the cinema. Kind of tacky, really. They also need to sort out the canopy over the exit in Leicester Court which has a big chunk of cladding missing and peeling paint, and also see to the poster boxes there which are looking almost derelict. Sort those out and give the windows a clean and they’re done!

CF100
CF100 on August 9, 2017 at 9:06 pm

The large facade-mounted display is a very rare instance of outdoor advertising within the City of Westminster, in a location with extremely high footfall.

From http://www.oceanoutdoor.com/products/digital/the-screen-on-leicester-square/:

“The only commercial advertising screen in London’s Leicester Square, this impressive high definition digital screen is one of the largest in Central London at 63m2."

Elegant or not, I imagine it’s lucrative and very much here to stay!

I rather like the foyer with its “industrial” treatment (although I’m not sure about the finishes—the floor could be vinyl tiles not much better than B&Q or Wickes?!)

Seeing “Square Pie” and the other concessions in context, it doesn’t look so bad.

The configuration is a bit too reminiscent of a mall food court, but hey, a picking up a tasty slice of pizza before the feature sounds good to me!

Hopefully, I may finally have some time this week to check it out… :–( I can’t identify the speaker brand from the photos, so it will be interesting to check out the Dolby Atmos installs…

SethLewis
SethLewis on August 9, 2017 at 6:45 am

The outside looks cheap…Paris cinemas manage to display the films that they are showing while looking elegant

Malletti pizza is a treat but again not sure it’s appropriate to the venue

CF100
CF100 on August 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm

UNICK Architects now have a page on the refurbished VUE West End with a number of photos.

CF100
CF100 on July 11, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Auditorium and facade photos.

Auditorium (same picture) and foyer photos.

Another picture of one of the main auditoriums—towards the screen—picture 10.

Auditorium looks good, looks like a “redecoration” (i.e. the wall coverings/carpets/seating.)

Looks like the main tabs have been kept, although they’re open in that photo.

A comment on the first page linked notes that the seats aren’t staggered, resulting in sightline problems.

The second foyer photo (featuring “Square Pie”) looks absolutely hideous and is completely inappropriate IMO for a cinema, as well as being substandard for a premiere site. The hanging lights aren’t even of the same length!

Not too keen on the facade either but better than the mess that it had become and the quality of the finishes look to be of a suitably high standard.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on July 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Took a look at the foyer today and I have to say it looks good! Modern, stylish and classy. The left wall is lined with a series of counters: Ben & Jerry’s, Bar, Square Pie and a pizza offering while the right has the standard popcorn-centric kiosk. Bar offering looked good with a wide selection of beers, wines and spirits plus craft beer on tap. Quite a contrast to Cineworld’s foyer as inherited from Empire, with a redundant ticket counter, wasted space galore and a comparatively dated, bare-bones retail offering (the bar section of the main counter looking particularly sorry with its empty wine racks)

Externally the building is looking much fresher with attractive lighting features under the reduced size canopy and restored neon trim on the top of the building. Less successful is the Vue logo which is stacked vertically and sort of folded to fit on the old fin. Head-on it looks a bit strange, seen from the left the cinema appears to be called “\LE”.

Ticket prices are steep starting at £15.99 for an adult for the least popular films (£18.49 for a recliner) however the place looked a lot busier than Cineworld and Odeon.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on July 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Opening date is 11 July.

davepring
davepring on July 7, 2017 at 10:15 am

Reopens next week..look forward to seeing the changes!

CF100
CF100 on March 24, 2017 at 5:27 am

http://vue-international.com/index.php/our-media/press-releases/110-introducing-the-new-vue-west-end

“A £6.6 million investment will see Vue’s West End venue […] offer guests the choice of fully reclining leather seats […] all other seats will be ‘VIP’ and have been designed to be super spacious, with extra room to stretch out and relax. […] There will be a total of 1,385 VIP and luxurious reclining seats. […]

“*Dolby Atmos installed in two screens […] all screens will also benefit from […] Sony 4K digital projection.

“retail offer with two new hot food concessions – Square Pie and Pizzeria Maletti – as well as a complete redesign of the foyer and existing bar area. A 62.7m² digital screen will also be installed on the exterior of the building.”

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 9, 2017 at 7:40 am

No listings on Vue’s website beyond today so presume it’s closing for refurb from tomorrow?

CF100
CF100 on March 5, 2017 at 7:44 am

The Licensing Application is up on Westminster Council’s website, no. 17/00626/LIPVM.

From it, here are the new seat counts:

Auditorium 1 68 standard / 22 VIP / 9 Luxury/ 99 Total / 1 Accessible
Auditorium 2 57 standard / 12 VIP / 10 Luxury / 79 Total / 1 Accessible
Auditorium 3 121 standard / 24 VIP / 10 Luxury / 155 Total / 2 Accessible
Auditorium 4 121 standard / 24 VIP / 10 Luxury / 155 Total / 2 Accessible
Auditorium 5 229 standard / 48 VIP / 20 Luxury / 297 Total / 4 Accessible
Auditorium 6 120 standard / 20 VIP / 10 Luxury / 150 Total / 2 Accessible
Auditorium 7 229 standard / 48 VIP / 20 Luxury / 297 Total / 4 Accessible
Auditorium 8 89 standard / 26 VIP / 8 Luxury / 123 Total / 2 Accessible
Auditorium 9 138 standard / 30 VIP / 9 Luxury / 177 Total / 2 Accessible

All auditoria 1172 standard / 254 VIP / 106 Luxury / 1532 Total / 20 Accessible

Works mentioned in the application include:

-Front box office removed.

-Ground floor concessions counter to be removed and replaced with two counters on the side walls.

-Changes to first floor lounge including new seating and refitted bar.

-Managers' office converted to a ‘Green Room.’

No significant internal changes are shown on the plans, so I would assume the ‘refurb’ of the auditoria will be ‘cosmetic,‘ with the same (or similar) sized screens etc.

CF100
CF100 on February 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

davepring: Excellent news!

Bet they ditch the tabs though. :–(

SethLewis
SethLewis on February 1, 2017 at 9:00 am

Amazing the last refurbishment was in 1992 25 years ago We’ve avoided this theatre like the plague in the last 10 years only using it for the odd exclusive or London Film Festival showing but did enjoy a long list of pictures here before and after the refurb – Driving Miss Daisy, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Fugitive, Faithless, Serial Mom, Big Night, Fifth Element, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Scream, Don Juan De Marco, Dick Tracy, Home Alone, Butcher Boy, LA Confidential, True Romance, Scooby Doo 2 (yes with my then young nephew), Brokeback Mountain (exclusive), The Aviator (exclusive) and probably quite a few more Expect the LFF will make more use of Odeon Leicester Square, Odeon Covent Garden, PictureHouse Central and the Prince Charles but OLS and OCG are probably due for refurbs too

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on February 1, 2017 at 7:17 am

How will that affect the BFI London Film Festival with their reduced seating capacity? Lack of large auditoriums last year caused them to build a temporary auditorium beside the Thames.

davepring
davepring on February 1, 2017 at 4:51 am

The Vue WestEnd closes in March for a major refurbishment and not before time! Seating capacity will be reduced by half as more luxurious fully reclining seats are installed. Dolby Atmos will also be installed in the two largest screens.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on October 24, 2016 at 6:28 pm

I visited the Vue West End again for the 2016 BFI London Film Festival, and the curtains and stage lights were used in Cinemas 5 and 7. It looked very nice. Then I saw a non-festival film in one of the basement cinemas, and curtains and stage lights were not used. I could see that they have the type of curtain that rises because I could see it above the screen. What I don’t understand is, if they have them, why don’t they use them? It makes for a much nicer presentation.