Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

Unfavorite 38 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 661 comments

CF100
CF100 on August 6, 2018 at 9:52 pm

LARGE_screen_format:

Not sure about this idea of having the picture extend at 90 degrees onto the two side walls?

Neither am I!

Surely a more immersive experience would be achieved by having a wider, possibly curved, floor to ceiling screen.

It would extend further into the audience’s horizontal peripheral vision than IMAX — 270°, as you quote, is their advertised claim, vs. maximum 120° for an IMAX conforming to criteria — and those areas are used by the human brain for motion awareness…

I can’t see it working well in terms of producing a geometrically undistorted picture, and also consistent illumination, including across seating positions?

Plus keeping all the projectors properly aligned and calibrated?

(Of course, the old OMNIMAX system could achieve “wider than IMAX” images.)

Wonder if any existing 4DX auditoria get converted into ScreenX or whether they will all be new build or conversions of non-4DX screens only?

Adding ScreenX to existing 4DX auditoria seems likely? (Given the above) the system would seem to work well in tandem with the motion seating.

About 40% of the movie utilises the three screen, most of it is displayed on the front wall in the traditional way.

Filmmaker Magazine – October 2013 – “Introducing Screen X, Cinema in 270 Degrees” – Interview with Paul Kim, “Lead Producer of ScreenX”.

“[Shooting Screen X involves a] three cameras [setup], a center camera and two peripheral cameras. The cameras – we used three RED Epics [for the South Korean film “The X”] – are hooked up onto a rig that allows you to shoot simultaneously in three directions at the same time.”

Apparently, using white screens doesn’t work, and at the time of the interview, they were using a “very cool dark grey”:

“The reason white screens don’t work is that you are now projecting onto the walls itself, that is still a light source and it reflects off the main screen and washes off on the main screen. This is a color we came upon because it absorbs light and it doesn’t reflect onto the main screen and at the same time it retrains most of the contrast and the colors. We are still experimenting with different colors.”

Kim mentions that the CJ Group’s cinema subsidary CGV are using Tectum fabric covered walls. I’m not clear from the article if the fabric supplied with this system is used as the sidewall screen material.

Also: “We have developed a term called FSR, which is Front Side Ratio, so the front of the screen to how long the side of the theater is. Ideally it’s about 1.5 to 1.8. We don’t like it to be any longer than that and we don’t like it to be any shorter.” He goes on to say that “180 to 230 seats is ideal.”


Sounds like an interesting system but whilst 4DX “works” as a optional “gimmick” that’s added late in post, I’d question the long term viability of ScreenX as a specialist format given that it would seem to require considerable additional production costs and upfront commitment?

Adding ScreenX to the LSQ 4DX would seem to be a non-starter—unless the columns are allowed to “interrupt” the sidewall images? With the 4DX conversion already pushing the limit of the cinema’s demised area in the basement of 1-4 Leicester Square, not sure there’s room for all the extra projectors, either.


Meanwhile, vendors continue to push LED screens to replace projection in cinemas.

You might be interested in an article published by Hollywood Reporter, which also notes the apparent exasperation of Spielberg of Nolan and Spielberg at the prospect of direct view display systems in theatres.

According to this article, the first Samsung Onyx LED display system in the US was installed at Pacific Theatres Winnetka in Chatsworth, CA—in the suburbanised San Fernando Valley area ~15 miles NW of Hollywood—with “Ready Player One” being the first programmed feature.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 6, 2018 at 11:33 am

B&B Theatres newly built flagship Liberty 12 in Liberty, MO, USA has the world’s largest ScreenX environment measuring more than four stories tall and seven stories wide with a seating capacity of 244.

The ScreenX is a cinematic platform using 10 projectors to display a movie on the walls in front and on the sides of the viewer, creating a 270-degree screen immersing the viewer in an expanse experience. About 40% of the movie utilises the three screen, most of it is displayed on the front wall in the traditional way.

Upcoming ScreenX releases include The Nun, Aquaman and Shazam!, with more to be announced this year. These join recent releases Black Panther, Rampage, plus Ant-Man and the Wasp. In 2017 three movies were released in ScreenX – Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 6, 2018 at 11:00 am

Not sure about this idea of having the picture extend at 90 degrees onto the two side walls? Surely a more immersive experience would be achieved by having a wider, possibly curved, floor to ceiling screen. Oh, wait…that sounds like IMAX, lol! :o)

Wonder if any existing 4DX auditoria get converted into ScreenX or whether they will all be new build or conversions of non-4DX screens only?

CF100
CF100 on August 6, 2018 at 9:54 am

CJ 4DPLEX is South Korean… and growth markets… China is now the world’s largest market by box office…

World’s First 4DX with Screen X — includes selected footage of the fit-out, and the 4DX/ScreenX system in use.

Wonder how much ScreenX content is available? “Ant-Man and the Wasp” has been released in this format, but I can’t see how this would work without seriously cropping the top/bottom off the frame?

Just went to the Barco Escape site to see how many cinemas are now equipped with that system, but apparently it was discontinued as of February 2018!

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 6, 2018 at 6:16 am

86 ScreenX screens in South Korea; 44 screens in China

They sure seem to embrace and rapidly rollout these new technologies such as 4DX and now ScreenX over there.

CF100
CF100 on August 6, 2018 at 4:48 am

LARGE_screen_format: Thank you for posting that!

Press release-14th June 2018.

“CJ 4DPLEX has announced today a partnership with Cineworld Group to open 100 ScreenX locations at its theatres in the next few years. This agreement, which marks a major milestone for both companies, will include installing the multi-projection cinematic system in 10 different countries: U.S., U.K., Israel and seven other European countries.”

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 6, 2018 at 3:45 am

Just spotted a new format on the Cineworld website…ScreenX

https://www.cineworld.co.uk/screenx#/

ScreenX – Beyond the Frame:

ScreenX is the world’s first multi-projection immersive cinema auditorium which provides a 270-degree viewing experience. The technology goes beyond the frame of a traditional screen by expanding the film scenes onto the side walls.

ScreenX was developed in 2012 by the South Korean, CJ conglomerate, a leader in the Asian entertainment industry. This new cinematic experience is expanding rapidly across the world.

Oddly, no cinemas are listed as having this new format at present!

CF100
CF100 on August 5, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Image Technique – Digital Signage & AV Solutions – Cineworld Cinemas – Large Scale Video Walls.

The curved screen at the top of the vestibule is shown in a photo, so presumably the LED modules were supplied and fitted by them.

As well as Cineworld, they have also been involved with signage for Empire Cinemas, Odeon and Vue.

A “full resolution” (4K) JPEG file of this photo can be downloaded.


What I assume to be the same (or at least certainly similar) video of various premiere events shown on the displays on the right wall adjacent to the LSQ entrance, proclaiming it to be “The home of the stars” and “The premiere destination in London’s West End,” as noted in my post dated July 24th 2018, is available via YouTube—Cineworld Leicester Square – “Discover the Home of the Stars”.

(I can only assume that whoever was responsible for the footage of the LSQ foyer/lobby areas was not aware of the extreme irony of (IMO incompetently!) using a “cinéma vérité” shooting style given the “subject” is showcasing the glitzy interior, rather than, say, POV disorientation in a frenetic sequence? At any rate, if the operator could actually hold the camera still and not fiddle with the zoom…! Still, good that Cineworld are clearly eager to promote LSQ as a flagship venue…)

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2018 at 8:35 pm

LARGE_screen_format:

Thanks for the detailed information and links. ;o)

You’re welcome. :–)

Didn’t realise that non-IMAX cameras could be used for scenes that are shown as 1.43:1 or 1.9:1 ratio on IMAX screens.

The only strict criteria I’m aware of is that, for non-IMAX content, IMAX Digital systems will only operate in a “crippled” mode, e.g. only one of the two projector (no 3D) is used. This includes non-IMAX trailers, advertising, etc. before an IMAX main feature, and with an IMAX with Laser projection system, this can be seen by putting on the supplied 3D glasses; one eye is blanked out. ;–)

I suspect 1.43:1 scenes would be shot on 15perf IMAX, e.g. “Dunkirk.”

IMAX themselves now offer digital cameras (1.9:1 ratio); however, if the objective is to achieve “IMAX” quality, then there are various options available—and the technology is developing at a rapid pace!

When the “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” picture “opened up” to 1.9:1, I actually said to myself “wow… this is… IMAX.”

It really is an exciting time for “large format” content as astonishing results are now possible, and things are only going to get better. :–)

Lucy is judged by many to be a reference quality 4K UHD movie.

Interesting! I shall have to acquire a copy. :–)

The clarity and detail, as demonstrated by e.g. the close shots of Morgan Freeman’s face, is certainly startling.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 3, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Thanks for the detailed information and links. ;o)

Didn’t realise that non-IMAX cameras could be used for scenes that are shown as 1.43:1 or 1.9:1 ratio on IMAX screens.

Lucy is judged by many to be a reference quality 4K UHD movie.

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2018 at 4:44 pm

LARGE_screen_format:

Found this piece of information interesting bearing in mind the amount of overseas IMAX auditoria that exist especially in the U.S.

Interesting. I suspect it’s a regurgitated press release, and sure enough, it is:

Empire Cinemas Expands IMAX Commitment with Three-Theatre Deal in England.

From IMAX – Lucy:

“Lucy: The IMAX Experience will be released in select international IMAX theatres only.”


I actually rather enjoyed “Lucy,” even if the premise and execution was absurd. Fantastic picture quality also.

I ended up seeing it twice at the LSQ IMAX, as I wanted a friend to experience a screening in a “real cinema,” the Orange/EE Wednesdays promotion was still available (albeit for IMAX screens there was a modest uplift charge for the “free” ticket), and I was quite happy to watch “Lucy” again.

Neither screening was terribly busy, and IIRC, on my second visit, I had a brief conversation with a member of staff, who when asked how the IMAX screen was doing, looked rather sheepish and said that “it is… building awareness” and “it is a success.”

To be fair to IMAX/Empire Cinemas, the “new” IMAX sites referenced in the above-linked press release didn’t suffer from the same problem as LSQ under Empire Cinemas, including the inability to get bookings of the biggest releases.

Of course, it is now very much a success, and given the very high grosses achieved over at the BFI London IMAX, as well as the Central London prices, I wouldn’t be surprised if for certain releases it is one of the highest grossing IMAX venues on an international basis.

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm

LARGE_screen_format:

Was the presentation of Mission: Impossible – Fallout in IMAX 3D?

Yes it was; as usual, when films are programmed for both the IMAX and Superscreen at LSQ, the IMAX shows the 3D version, and the Superscreen the 2D version.

Sadly, didn’t manage to and it has today been replaced by Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Exactly, that’s why I went there at the last minute when I found myself in a location with just enough time to get there a few minutes before the auditorium doors were open. :–) I had thought about seeing it in the Superscreen, actually, but it was heavily booked—and I had better acquire an Unlimited card prior to the next Superscreen visit!

Be interested to hear your comments on the 3D effect considering this was a post-production conversion, as are most movies, and not natively shot in 3D.

In the “non-IMAX” scenes, the 3D conversion was, for the most part, dreadful—“cardboard cut-out” look and constrained by the general shallow depth of field (i.e. most objects not in focus, including close shots of adjacent actors) of the photography—an aesthetic choice that doesn’t work well for 3D. The 3D in these scenes, however, is relatively subtle.

3D was very effective in the “full height” scenes, though I don’t think mostly “in your face,” either.

I like 3D, but I wouldn’t be overly concerned about only having seen it theatrically in 2D.

I enjoyed the movie and even rewatched all of the other five movies in the franchise before and after this latest instalment in the franchise.

I really need to realise that franchise films these days require having some knowledge of the backstory set in previous installments, and I’d probably do well read a plot summary beforehand. In “fast-paced” films, I tend to miss key exposition in the first act as I’m distracted by assessing picture/sound quality and looking around the auditorium. :–(

The scenes in Kashmir during the final act, were they the only ones filmed using IMAX cameras and opened up to fill the whole screen?

I think they were the only 1.9:1 ratio scenes; AFAIK they weren’t shot on IMAX cameras but rather using Panavision Millennium DXLs with Primo 70 series lenses. These are so-called large format cameras boasting a 40.96mm wide sensor (c.f. 24mm for “35mm” format.)

You might find this video to be of interest:

Panavision – DXL2: A Wider Gamut.

I had expected the Burf Khalifa scene in Ghost Protocol to have been filmed in IMAX but alas I don’t believe it was? It certainly isn’t listed on the wiki list of movies filmed using IMAX cameras.

65mm IMAX film cameras certainly were used…

Photo of Director Brad Bird and IMAX camera rig.

No other details have yet been released with regards to the opening date of the new Cineworld 9-screen cinema [at the expanded intu Watford] which includes an IMAX screen.

According to a July 2018 update from intu, three months were left until opening, with units being handed over to retailers for fit-out:

“The first unit to open will be the 4-storey Debenhams on September 27th, with lots of other great brands opening shortly after.”

Not sure if this relates to the timeframe for the cinema, but seems reasonable to assume around October or if there is slippage, November. Then again, depending on project sequencing, if “handover” means from shell/core only then the cinema “fit-out” is presumably rather more involved than the average retail unit.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 3, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Thats amazing. How about in america?

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 3, 2018 at 10:20 am

Found this piece of information interesting bearing in mind the amount of overseas IMAX auditoria that exist especially in the U.S.

“In less than a year since its opening, the IMAX Leicester Square ranked as the world’s highest-grossing IMAX site for the 2014 blockbuster thriller Lucy.“

Excerpt taken from this article:

http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/12930981.Basildon_set_to_get_state-of-the-art_IMAX_cinema_screen/

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 3, 2018 at 4:50 am

Will do.

I hope to visit and watch a movie in the IMAX auditoria as soon as possible (depending on what is being shown at the time) after it opens to the public.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 3, 2018 at 4:13 am

Large screen format, I assist this site- feel free to post on this page (which I read) with opening date of Watford Cineworld. Not sure we will create a page until actual opening, but possibly, and surely, once it is open.

LARGE_screen_format
LARGE_screen_format on August 3, 2018 at 1:11 am

@CF100

Was the presentation of Mission: Impossible – Fallout in IMAX 3D? I watched it on the opening day in 2D but then on seeing this review where it was awarded the maximum score of 35/35, had considered travelling to Hemel Hempstead to watch it again, this time in IMAX 3D. Sadly, didn’t manage to and it has today been replaced by Ant-Man and the Wasp.

https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2454659/to-3d-or-not-to-3d-buy-the-right-mission-impossible—-fallout-ticket

Be interested to hear your comments on the 3D effect considering this was a post-production conversion, as are most movies, and not natively shot in 3D.

I enjoyed the movie and even rewatched all of the other five movies in the franchise before and after this latest instalment in the franchise.

The scenes in Kashmir during the final act, were they the only ones filmed using IMAX cameras and opened up to fill the whole screen? I had expected the Burf Khalifa scene in Ghost Protocol to have been filmed in IMAX but alas I don’t believe it was? It certainly isn’t listed on the wiki list of movies filmed using IMAX cameras.

The new intu shopping centre redevelopment in Watford have set an opening date of 27th September 2018 for the 4-storey Debenhams store as phase one of the opening. No other details have yet been released with regards to the opening date of the new Cineworld 9-screen cinema which includes an IMAX screen. Had hoped it would open this month.

Presumably one of the Cinema Treasures Admin team will create a new page for it once it’s official release date has been officially announced?

CF100
CF100 on August 2, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Correction to previous post: 151 RGB LED bars, not 171.

CF100
CF100 on August 2, 2018 at 3:28 pm

I attended a screening of “Mission Impossible—Fallout” in the IMAX auditorium today, having booked my ticket at the “last minute” (by which I mean, just enough time to get to the cinema some minutes before the auditorium doors were opened!)

This was foolish in that I did not consider whether the film was worth seeing—albeit, its current Rotten Tomatoes score is 97%(!)—so “research” may not have been of any assistance!

It turns out that the film IS worth seeing—but, IMO, only for the visuals in the final act. Set in Kashmir, numerous stunning shots of mountainous terrain in “full height” IMAX Digital (1.9:1) are featured, presumably digitally acquired (CGI aside) using Panavision Millennium DXLs (8K source format) per IMDb Technical Specifications.

Full use of the 12 channel IMAX sound system was apparent in these scenes, e.g. strongly directional helicopter sounds panned overhead.

(Picture quality-wise, the rest of the film is lacking in detail with poor depth of field and I assume was mostly acquired on 35mm film per IMDb Technical Specifications, although no grain was apparent, suggesting heavy noise reduction.)


IMAX auditorium update:

  • I’m not sure if it was the fault of the source material, but there was a marked absence of low level detail throughout the film, with dark areas clipped to black. Some low level dither seemed to be visible in one or two 1.9:1 scenes in the final act. Subtle “laser speckle” was also apparent momentarily a couple of times.
  • Today’s outside temperature was ~30°C, and the HVAC system was working extremely well with the auditorium very well chilled and unstuffy for the late afternoon screening I attended, as were the foyer areas.
  • On the left splay wall, the front bottom two LED bars were misaligned. (Photo uploaded.)
  • Also, my perception was that the colour-changing LEDs have lost some brightness, which is odd since even allowing for 5 hours of use/day, they would not even have hit the 10,000 hour mark, and the bars use OSRAM LEDs which have outstanding performance in terms of brightness maintenance with use. Perhaps they are being driven hard? With 171 RGB bars, and given a retail price of, say, £200+ each, one does wonder whether Cineworld will bother with long term upkeep/replacement. Regular LED strips just wouldn’t be bright enough to illuminate the large areas of black walls/ceiling, which the current system already struggles with. I overheard a kid sitting behind making a comment on the “magical lighting,” so clearly it’s effective in adding a special touch for those with no awareness of the heritage aspect.
  • AFAICT, one or more of the subbass drivers bottomed out during one of the trailers; if this represents failure, hopefully IMAX will action replacement(s).

Cineworld (Empire) Leicester Square update:

  • The building site notice still appears on the fire exit door to Leicester Street.

  • To add to ongoing observations of extreme minutiae, the left wall of the lower vestibule (i.e. underneath the section leading to the 4DX) now has black strips added. (Photo uploaded.) Interestingly (?), if it’s the same product visible in fit-out photos of Cineworld Broughton—see Image 1 and Image 2—these black strips might not actually be PMMA (aka Perspex/Plexiglass,) but Alupanel.

  • Empire Cinemas' registered office is, as of November 2017, 63-65 Haymarket. The “10 – Empire Studios” sign remains by the entrance to the upper level offices on the Leicester Place frontage, although no signs of activity were externally visible, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that they’ve vacated.

[Added text to overcome “Your comment appears to be spam!” notification which appeared on reposting with minor edits. And some more text for another repost. :–(]

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 26, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Hello-

to takethemichael. while I wouldn’t bet my next paycheck on it I could swear the theater that was playing the 70MM re-issue of The Ten Commandments the Summer of 1972 was named the Shaftesbury Cinerama. maybe it was the Casino Cinerama? who knows.

takethemichael
takethemichael on July 26, 2018 at 12:54 am

Thank you Zappomatic and others for the detailed and interesting comments and photos about the refurbishment of Cineworld Leicester Square.

takethemichael
takethemichael on July 26, 2018 at 12:38 am

bigjoe59: Could the Cinerama cinema you refer to be the Columbia Shaftesbury Avenue. The Columbia Cinema was sunk into the basement of a large office block and had 734 seats. Not cinerama but it had a huge curved screen for 70mm and Todd-AO presentations. Open as the Curzon Soho: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/6244

Former London Cinerama theatres: Casino Cinerama, Old Compton Street, Soho (now Prince Edward Theatre): http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/2497 Royalty Cinerama, Kingsway: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/11040 Coliseum Cinerama, St Martins Lane: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/11041

CF100
CF100 on July 24, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Passed by Cineworld (Empire) LSQ yesterday; alas “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” was playing in the IMAX/Superscreen. :–(

(ABBA, like them or not, have gifted the world with a large repertoire of popular songs written and arranged to a very high standard, many of which are classics, and I have no interest in watching/hearing them being mutilated in a corny sequel!)

Cineworld are now branding LSQ as “London’s premiere destination and home to the stars,” on the screen nearest to the entrance (mounted on the right side wall of the lower vestibule), with clips of various premiere/“red carpet” events being shown. (Photo uploaded.)

The only external sign of ongoing building work remains the “Construction Site” notice on the exterior of the Leicester Street fire exit doors.


Empire Cinemas' registered address has been changed to 63-65 Haymarket, aka Empire Haymarket. The “Empire Studios” sign remains by the the entrance door facing Leicester Place.


bigjoe59: Regarding the Cinerama you refer to, that format/system existed way before my time—but perhaps you mean the location that was originally, and is today, named the “Prince Edward Theatre”? It’s about 100 metres (on foot) from Shaftesbury Avenue.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 24, 2018 at 2:04 pm

Hello-

I thank Ken R. and Howard B. for their replies. to bad the Odeon Marble Arch was demolished. it was the 1st movie theater I’d ever been to that had a coffee bar. also the theater where I saw the Summer 1973 70MM re-issue of The Ten Commandments was most definitely called the Shaftesbury Cinerama.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 24, 2018 at 2:33 am

“The Ten Commandments” got an ABC general countrywide re-release in March 1973, so its possible that it played the ABC Shaftesbury Avenue a little earlier. Originally a live theatre (Saville Theatre of 1931), from 1970 it became a twin-screen cinema for ABC. Still open today as the Odeon Covent Garden http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/911