Cineworld at the Empire Theatre

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 19, 2016 at 2:14 am

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

CF100
CF100 on September 23, 2016 at 11:07 pm

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

CF100
CF100 on September 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm

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 11:01 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 4:51 pm

“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 11:00 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 8:13 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 1:52 pm

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

CF100
CF100 on August 10, 2016 at 9:40 am

Expect the IMPACT screen to be rebranded “Superscreen”.

zappomatic
zappomatic on August 10, 2016 at 12:34 am

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

CF100
CF100 on August 9, 2016 at 9:50 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 5:50 pm

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 5:18 pm

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 1:21 pm

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 11:57 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 11:55 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.

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Rebranding hitch: the Casino is called ‘The Casino at the Empire’…

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2016 at 11:01 pm

At least the Empire/Cineworld Leicester Square should have more ‘pull’ to get bookings.

There’s certainly scope for improving the IMPACT screen.

My comment was as much about maintaining (and respecting the heritage of) the foyer areas, customer service, etc.

It doesn’t sound like you’ll be back unless Screen 1 is reinstated complete with plaster tiles and cold cathode lighting!

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on August 3, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Don’t think Cineworld could make the Empire Leicester Square any worse than it is now. I’ve certainly seen my last film there – one visit since twinning Empire One was more than enough. Given that Picturehouse Central ultimately belongs to Cineworld and that the largest auditorium there is most impressive with its extremely comfortable seats, strikingly colourful curtains and huge screen, perhaps the Empire/Cineworld Leicester Square is in relatively safe hands.

CF100
CF100 on August 3, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Good grief, I’m almost as shocked as when it was announced that Screen 1 was to close!

Let’s hope Cineworld maintain the Empire LS as a first rate venue.

Regarding Bromley, last time I checked there were plans for a multiscreen cinema as part of a ‘mixed-use’ (ugh) development to replace a multi-storey car park, and plans to build a small multiscreen ‘arthouse’ cinema as part of a development on the roof (currently parking) of the Intu Bromley (previously known as ‘The Glades’) shopping mall. Surprised that the former Odeon Bromley isn’t due to be knocked down and turned into another oversized block of flats.

Ian
Ian on July 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm

The main screen at the Haymarket Carlton is one of the most attractive in the West End now, but there are lots of unused areas in the building that could have small screens squeezed into them, and the two lower screens could be rebuilt without loss.

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on July 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Almost as intriguing as recent politics! Certainly slimming down the Empire circuit somewhat. Looks like Bromley is to acquire a Picturehouse then while, doubtless, Empire will be working out how to turn the tripled erstwhile Carlton Haymarket into a ten screen multihash!

davepring
davepring on July 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Well my guess was wrong!! in a swap deal the Haymarket cinema will become an Empire to maintain a west end presence. Cineworld were keen to have a large West End venue following the closure of the Trocadero site and to compete with the AMC owned Odeon which hopefully will get a much needed internal refurb.

davepring
davepring on July 29, 2016 at 12:46 pm

it has bought 5 Empire cinemas one of which a previous 4 screen odeon will be rebranded as a Picturehouse. I am guessing the Haymarket venue will close.