Odeon Leicester Square

26 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7LQ

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CF100
CF100 on August 2, 2018 at 6:34 pm

ritzman: That would be nice, but given the “large format” — possibly Dolby Cinema — screen slated for the refurbished OLS, I wouldn’t get my hopes up—at least not in the original location!

It will be interesting to see just how much plasterwork is retained or reinstated. The auditorium as it was would need a lot of acoustic treatment were it to be brought closer to current “new build” standards.

Of course, the forms could be recreated to a lesser or greater degree of exactitude using modern materials, as was the panelling around the “golden ladies” in the late 90s refurb using, AFAIK, stretched fabric panels, where wooden panelling was originally used.

Incidentally, Eomac—the company that seemingly supplies stretched fabric profiles and textiles to just about every new or refurbished cinema on the planet, also offer acoustic wood products.

Acoustic plaster solutions also exist, e.g. Quietspray (no idea if that would be suitable or not to recreate the 1930s forms, but as an example of a plaster system that has good acoustic absorption performance.)

I suppose all depends in part on just how much money Odeon are willing to throw at the project, and ability to diverge from the path of least resistance, for non-obligatory heritage reasons.


Update: The LSQ scaffolding has been covered over with fire retardant sheets; I did take some photos, but thinking about it, it really isn’t very interesting! However, it may suggest that work is now progressing to the foyer/facade phase.

No changes to views from Charing Cross Road.

ritzman
ritzman on July 31, 2018 at 4:40 am

I do hope the original ceiling treatment is restored to the proscenium opening.

CF100
CF100 on July 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm

External scaffolding has now been erected on the Leicester Square facade. As far as I could tell, the foyer areas are in the same stripped state as previous posts, with what I assume to be the underside of the circle stadia still visible.

CF100
CF100 on July 2, 2018 at 3:45 pm

LARGE_screen_format: No idea what the terms of agreement are regarding disclosure but I wouldn’t imagine marketing would be thinking of creating a “buzz” until close to the reopening date.

(I suppose the cost-benefit would be positive, since the marginal cost is essentially zero, if they were thinking of getting out information to more technically-minded enthusiasts. However, I doubt that the success of the project would be riding on this; the average cinema-goer isn’t going to read some article about it hidden away in the “back pages” of the generic “press” and respond to it by thinking “OMG, OLS reopening with Dolby Cinema in many months' time, must talk about it incessantly and remind all my Facebook ‘friends’ every week!”)


I have uploaded a photo, taken last weekend, of the rear “Service Yard” area from Charing Cross Road. A Portakabin that I don’t recall being there previously can be seen positioned by the entrance. The cinema building itself is at the end of the yard, with external staircases, and going by the licensing plans, behind what appear to be broken windows (!) at the upper level are disused dressing rooms.

The upper level auditoria of “Odeon Studios” are just behind these rooms.

I took a number of photos of the Leicester Square frontage, but the changes are not really significant from my last trip. There is a waste chute down from circle foyer level which presumably heads down towards a skip behind the LSQ hoarding, and the hoarding has been extended to cover the entire width of the LSQ frontage.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 17, 2018 at 5:55 am

Seen as Dolby have recently made the announcement of opening seven Dolby Cinema sites in the UK in collaboration with Odeon cinemas why not also confirm if indeed Odeon, Leicester Square is to be the first such Dolby Cinema?

Surely it would create even more of a buzz rather than if it is kept under wraps until any announcements regarding the re-opening of OLS take place?

CF100
CF100 on June 17, 2018 at 4:35 am

“7 Dolby Cinema Sites to Open in the UK” – Forbes 13th June 2018.

“Dolby hasn’t announced yet where the seven new Dolby Cinema Odeons are going to be located (though an industry contact tells me that one is going to be the Odeon Leicester Square)…”

(Article author John Archer is well known as a contributor to various AV publications.)

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 16, 2018 at 2:49 am

@CF100

I even posted on the Showcase de Luxe Southampton page a few days ago whilst doing some quick research in laser projection in UK cinemas.

Need to visit that cinema plus Odeon, Bournemouth (BH2).

CF100
CF100 on June 15, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Following my comment earlier this week:

As far as I could tell from outside, the circle foyer’s false ceiling has now been completely removed.

I have now processed and uploaded a photo into the circle foyer taken externally to the OLS. It can be seen that the false ceiling has indeed been removed.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Can you please post a link to Showcase Westquay as I can’t seem to find it using the search box?

Thanks.

CF100
CF100 on June 15, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Oops—just realised the plan puts the curved screen on the wrong side.

Revised Possible plan of the Dolby Cinema curved wall feature as seen in the video linked to by LARGE_screen_format.

LARGE_screen_format:

I too thought the entrance would probably originate at the rear of the auditoria instead of either the left or right-hand side of the screen as often is the case in multiplexes I visit.

Hmm, I’m confused?

What the plan shows is an entrance from the lobby (typically a long corridor in multiplexes), which is labelled “ENTRANCE TO CURVED WALL FEATURE.”

The curved screen would then be walked past (the section of the video you linked to starts somewhere in the middle of this.)

In the video, there is a sharp left turn at the end of the curved wall section, then a walk along a corridor, followed by a right-angled turn down another corridor.

Some way down this corridor, there is a right-angled turn through doors into the auditorium, at the screen end.

Continuing straight down this corridor rather than entering the auditorium would lead to what appears to be a fire exit.

Notice the whole auditorium isn’t shown in the above linked possible plan; the dotted blue rectangle marks the area under the booth/rear seating.

Some interesting features of this layout are:

  • Instead of having a vomitory leading from the lobby heading into the auditorium, opening through the stadium seating, and emerging at the front of the stadium seating, there is a walled off corridor leading to the auditorium entrance and fire exit.

  • This enables a wall-to-wall screen which possibly otherwise would be impossible due to the fire exit location.

  • Between the auditorium entrance from the corridor and the assumed fire exit, there is a fair distance. I’ve marked the area to the right of the corridor, behind the screen, with “ASSUMED VOID AREA BEHIND SCREEN.” Possibly, the screen was moved forward if it was an existent theatre adapted for Dolby Cinema.

Odeon, Bournemouth (BH2) has been listed in my smartphone notes, that I’ve been compiling for a while, as a cinema I would like to visit at some point since reading about the opening of the BH2 Leisure Complex.

Surely Showcase Westquay first if you’re heading in that direction. ;–) Hmm, I ought to add that to my to-do list next time I’m in Hampshire…

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 15, 2018 at 10:28 am

Dolby Cinema posted the same news on their twitter feed a couple of days ago. https://twitter.com/DolbyCinema

It’s true – Dolby Cinema is coming to the UK and Germany! Learn more about our partnership with @ODEONCinemas and #Kinopolis here ➡️ http://bit.ly/2HMIEAr

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 15, 2018 at 9:31 am

Nice diagram.

I too thought the entrance would probably originate at the rear of the auditoria instead of either the left or right-hand side of the screen as often is the case in multiplexes I visit.

Odeon, Bournemouth (BH2) has been listed in my smartphone notes, that I’ve been compiling for a while, as a cinema I would like to visit at some point since reading about the opening of the BH2 Leisure Complex.

CF100
CF100 on June 15, 2018 at 9:19 am

Possible plan of the Dolby Cinema curved wall feature as seen in the video linked to by LARGE_screen_format:

https://ibb.co/h0CDjd

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 15, 2018 at 9:11 am

@CF100

I’m grateful for all of the detailed knowledge that you share on this site, greatly appreciated. ;o)

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve never read any cinema technology magazines which is even harder to believe considering how many movies I’ve watched at the cinema (at a guess, easily 1000+!) and home cinema magazines that I’ve read over the years.

This is quite a detailed article about the first Dolby Cinema:

https://www.techradar.com/news/video/dolby-just-opened-the-most-advanced-cinema-in-the-world-1299524

CF100
CF100 on June 15, 2018 at 8:42 am

LARGE_screen_format: Very interesting, thanks for the links!

As I mentioned previously on Cinema Treasures, planning applications were submitted in relation to the refurbishment of the OLS, and these don’t cover the auditorium alterations as planning permission isn’t required for them (and all of the auditorium except the rear of the circle is cropped out of the floor plans!)

However, there is a large “Double-D – DOLBY” logo in the glazed area above the front canopy. The best place to see this is the facade rendering on p12 of the Design and Access Statement which can be downloaded from the main planning application under “OLS DESIGN AND ACCESS STATEMENT.”

As Odeon have already confirmed that it will be a “premium large format” screen and that it won’t be an IMAX (which is obvious anyway as it’s next door to one and the standard terms of agreement with IMAX include exclusivity within a certain area), I think there are enough clues to consider it a sure bet that it will be a Dolby Cinema.


Interesting that Odeon will be using Dolby SLS speakers from now on; AFAIK they’ve been using LW (Luis Wassmann) speakers in recent years.

I guess that means the screen speakers will be line arrays as plenty of output capability and directivity control is needed to cope with the large auditorium!


Regarding the curved Dolby Cinema entrance feature, in a typical multiplex, I’d guess the obvious layout would be to locate it under the booth/rear seating stadia structure; albeit if this space already houses a required use (toilets, for instance) then that use would have to be relocated.

I drew an “ASCII” text plan of a possible layout used in the video you linked to, but I can’t get it to format properly on Cinema Treasures!

Incidentally, some (not sure how many) iSense auditoria have a similar entrance feature—see p25 of the June 2017 issue of Cinema Technology Magazine as an example.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 15, 2018 at 7:33 am

A number of different sources have all been covering the same news regarding Dolby Cinema in the UK over the past few days.

This article offers a little extra detail regarding new equipment will be installed:

“Additionally, Odeon Cinemas Group has confirmed that Dolby servers, processors, and speakers will be utilized for all of its European entities going forward.”

http://investor.dolby.com/news-releases/news-release-details/dolby-announces-european-cinema-market-expansion-cineeurope-2018

https://www.homecinemachoice.com/news/article/dolby-cinema-gets-go-ahead-in-the-uk/26410

And as you already mentioned @CF100…“There’s no word yet on where the seven locations might be. But the Odeon Leicester Square would seem like an obvious candidate.”

https://www.dolby.com/us/en/platforms/dolby-cinema.html

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on June 14, 2018 at 9:57 am

That’s possibly the best/biggest cinema news I’ve heard since IMAX with Laser was installed at Empire (now Cineworld), Leicester Square.

Thanks for the link. ;)

One thing I have noticed from all of the online videos I’ve seen of Dolby Cinema auditoria is that they have a really long walk from the screen entrance until you get all the way inside. Almost like a little maze. With the exception of a couple of flagship cinemas (Leicester Square), most multiplexes in the UK have the entrances to auditoria fairly close to one another plus there’s usually a shortish walk (in a straight line as opposed to weaving this way and that). Dolby has five Christie 2K short-throw projectors projecting video images on a 12m digital entry display (floor to ceiling) which customers walk past on their way in.

As seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKp_HKJA4hE

This wouldn’t pose a problem on any newly built cinemas but may require a re-shuffle to existing sites?

CF100
CF100 on June 11, 2018 at 3:51 pm

I spoke to someone outside the OLS today who informed me that they plan to reopen by the end of the year but this isn’t a certainty.

As far as I could tell from outside, the circle foyer’s false ceiling has now been completely removed. The front balcony structure has been removed, and the paving above the external area that had been dug up has been reinstated.

Signs for 8build (responsible for strip-out and enabling works) have been removed and signs for GF Holding can now be seen, who are, according to their website, “specialist fit-out and building contractors.” Other projects they have worked on include the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, the Empire (Leicester Square) Casino, and the Plaza Stockport.

In other words, the project has, presumably, moved onto the next phase.

CF100
CF100 on June 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm

joeswin: Thank you very much for the upload, it does work. I’ve saved it to keep. :–)

joeswin
joeswin on June 7, 2018 at 2:28 am

Here is a link to my project I hope it works: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w4a1sc8ssmyc54h/Odeon%20Leicester%20Square.pdf?dl=0

CF100
CF100 on June 6, 2018 at 4:10 pm

joeswin: I think you could try uploading it to Dropbox or other file hosting service?

Thanks for the information on the Westminster Archives. :–)

joeswin
joeswin on June 6, 2018 at 6:00 am

Id love to post it somewhere, is there a way of uploading it here?

As for accessing the archive, its really easy. You just go and sign up for a Westminster Library card and give a reason as to why you want to see a particualr item (I just said I was resarching for a piece of work I was doing)and then they bring you the items to look at.I think you may have to order them before you get there, but I cant quite remeber. You can search thier catalogue here though http://www.calmview.eu/Westminster/CalmView/default.aspx

Lionel
Lionel on June 5, 2018 at 7:15 am

@joeswin Interested as well in reading your work and learn about those mistakes made in 1967…