Cineworld Cinema - at the Empire Theatre

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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Zappomatic
Zappomatic on April 9, 2017 at 9:44 am

Now has some external Cineworld branding in the form of a sign just above the doors. The 1980s Empire logo on the doors has been replaced by the Cineworld logo. Inside, the signage about the entrances to the screens still has the Empire logo, and bizarrely the tiled/granite floor opposite the kiosk has been covered over with slightly tatty looking black carpet.

CF100
CF100 on March 24, 2017 at 5:23 am

Surely the “IMPACT” screen? The auditorium (from the plans) looks to be about 22mx18m or so, with a high ceiling, whilst Screen 2 is about 18mx13m?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on March 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Expected to get a 4DX screen this year. Wonder which screen will get converted? I’ve have thought all but screen 2 are too small and cramped to fit the equipment in but who knows?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 25, 2017 at 9:45 am

Yes, assumed those stains are water damage.

Haven’t been in the IMAX screen since the Pepsi signage came down, unfortunately.

CF100
CF100 on February 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Thanks for your reply.

Water damage—I noticed stains on the ceiling?

Something like the patchy area in this photo:

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/912/photos/79104

Regarding Pepsi Max signage, has this been removed from the seats in the IMAX auditorium as well?

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 23, 2017 at 11:59 am

In front of the curved backlit poster you can see evidence of some old water damage, and it’s there that the peeling/tearing in whatever it is on the ceiling can be found – sort of in line with the disused box office. It’s visible in a photo taken a year or two ago which I can’t seem to find right now so it’s something Empire also couldn’t be bothered to fix. On a positive note they’ve put the silver ball back on top of the entrance to screen 5 (it had fallen off and could be seen resting on the ledge). I’ll grab a shot of it on my next visit.

On my last visit the Pepsi Max branding had been removed from signage inside and out, albeit crudely done leaving holes in the metalwork. All other signage still Empire branded.

CF100
CF100 on February 23, 2017 at 7:45 am

Peeling paint/paper on the foyer ceiling? Where is that?

I always thought the red covering on the foyer ceiling was felt.

I also noticed the broken fibre optic lighting. It’s nearly 30 years old now, maybe repair is out of the question?

It’s sounding all too much like Cineworld are treating it as ‘just another venue’ rather than a flagship…

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on February 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm

The Empire-style menu boards at the concessions counter have been replaced with Cineworld ones, and with that comes some price changes: combo deals have gone up to £7 from £6.50, but there are some decent offers on alcohol such as two glasses of Prosecco for £7.50 and double up on spirits for £1. It does make you realise how pared-back Cineworld’s offering is.

Otherwise still selling Ben & Jerry’s, advertising is still Pearl & Dean, still using old unreliable ATMs inherited from Empire and no change to any signage.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on December 12, 2016 at 8:53 am

The CMA has approved Cineworld’s acquisition so it will be interesting to see how they set about the rebranding. I’m hoping they’ll sort out some of the broken fibre optic lighting and peeling paint/paper on the foyer ceiling but given Empire left that broken for years and the state of Cineworld Haymarket I’m not getting my hopes up!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 18, 2016 at 6:14 pm

‘Cineworld at the Empire Theatre’ is the new name.

CF100
CF100 on September 23, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Looks like the casino is now called the “Empire Casino.”

CF100
CF100 on September 4, 2016 at 10:02 am

Hence the state of suspended animation! It may turn out to be a formality…

An article on the Basildon cinema in a local newspaper published on the 10th August 2016 says that the sale was “voluntarily referred… to the Competition and Markets Authority.”

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on September 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm

May be rocky times ahead and may explain the apparent delay in rebranding and why Haymarket is still Cineworld: https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/cineworld-group-empire-cinemas-merger-inquiry

CF100
CF100 on September 3, 2016 at 8:51 am

“Empire” and “Empire Leicester Square” are registered trademarks of Empire Cinemas Group (UK) Limited for “Cinematographic entertainment services.”

CF100
CF100 on September 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Quick look from outside today. No changes to the marquee, save for the Cineworld logo as one of the images on the left-facing LED display. Box office is by the entrance doors, with film times shown on several flat panel displays; staff are wearing Cineworld uniforms (ugh.)

A printed board outside says that the cinema is now operated by Cineworld, and one near bottom of stairs says “Please bear with us whilst we transform you cinema into a better place to watch a movie”—alas, I suspect they do not mean that Empire 1 will be reinstated!

No idea whether they are selling Coke or Pepsi, but the Pepsi Max logo on the marquee remains.

The old Empire logos on the entrance doors were, I think, covered over with advertising for Finding Dory. Fortunately, the marble cladding on the right wall of the vestibule was not covered over.

It seemed to be reasonably busy in early evening.

There is an application to Westminster Council for license transfer dated 12th August 2016, but no record of any new planning application in relation to signage.

The Casino owner holds the leasehold of the property, with the cinema operator as a sub-tenant.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on August 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Slightly odd experience during the brand changeover! A few Cineworld banners but everything else still says Empire. Kiosk still selling the old Empire menu and brands eg. Pepsi instead of Coke. Staff still getting to grips with systems. Ads from Pearl & Dean instead of DCM and no Cineworld indents at all.

Weirdest thing was anyone could just wander in from the street and into the screens without having their ticket checked!

MovieGeek2013
MovieGeek2013 on August 10, 2016 at 5:52 am

They have already renamed the impact screen to Superscreen on their website.

CF100
CF100 on August 10, 2016 at 1:40 am

Expect the IMPACT screen to be rebranded “Superscreen”.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on August 9, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Cineworld page now up and booking open. https://www.cineworld.co.uk/cinemas/london-leicester-square

CF100
CF100 on August 9, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Blurb on Cineworld’s corporate site

This says: “No further material capex is required due to the investment in the portfolio in recent years, and all the multiplexes are modern with state of the art equipment.”

Cineworld FAQ on the acquired cinemas

Facebook page is up

The Facebook About page says “Welcome to the official Facebook page for Cineworld Cinemas Leicester Square at the Empire Theatre in London.”

Ambak, AFAIK the freehold of the building is owned by London and Regional Property, who acquired it from First Leisure (operators of the “Equinox” nightclub formerly below the cinema.) IIRC it was sold to Mecca by MGM before the 1962 reconstruction. (Incidentally, my previous research reveals that Mecca’s original plans may have been to completely replace the existing building.)

They will presumably remove “EMPIRE” sign on the marquee as that’s Empire Cinemas' logo but not cover over the “EMPIRE THEATRE” letting at the top of the facade.

HowardBHaas, absolutely, it is THE Empire!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 9, 2016 at 9:50 am

the Haymarket could be called the Empire Haymarket. The Empire is always the Empire & it would be sacrilege to remove that name. They can call it the Cineworld Empire. I am American but visit every year.

Ambak
Ambak on August 9, 2016 at 9:18 am

As far as rebranding is concerned, the entire building is called the Empire and Cineworld only own (or lease) the cinema part. I can’t imagine that the Empire name will come off of the frontage. If so, what do Empire Cinemas call the Haymarket cinema? Maybe they can go back to calling it the Carlton.

davepring
davepring on August 4, 2016 at 5:21 am

as much as I dislike Cineworld they do invest in their newer properties and the Empire we all loved so much as a 1300 seater was never going to work longterm.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on August 3, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Last day as part of the Empire chain will be 11 August 2016 http://www.empirecinemas.co.uk/news/its_a_wrap/n252

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on August 3, 2016 at 3:55 pm

That’s a thought. The Casino at the Cineworld doesn’t have the same ring, even were it to be allowed! Perhaps “The Casino in Leicester Square” now that “Casino” has lost its link with Cinerama and the Prince Edward Theatre! Sadly, the 1,300+ Empire One will never return so, as you say, neither will I.