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Movie Palaces #31 ODEON LEICESTER SQUARE London
Movie Palaces #31 ODEON LEICESTER SQUARE London
Published: 2015/11/06
Channel: ComptonLodgeStudios
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 World Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 World Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2014/04/11
Channel: ODEON Cinemas
Dunkirk World Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Dunkirk World Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2017/07/14
Channel: ODEON Cinemas
Hateful Eight VIC8 70MM Odeon Leicester Square
Hateful Eight VIC8 70MM Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2016/04/16
Channel: Simon Nicholls
Empire Leicester Square. Screen 1
Empire Leicester Square. Screen 1
Published: 2014/07/16
Channel: gaumont kalee
Star Wars intro at Leicester Square Odeon, London
Star Wars intro at Leicester Square Odeon, London
Published: 2015/12/20
Channel: Joel Dobbins
Odeon LS 1998 Refit 1
Odeon LS 1998 Refit 1
Published: 2007/06/03
Channel: fp30e
Leicester Square London Cinema M&M
Leicester Square London Cinema M&M's World Lego store Restaurants
Published: 2017/03/19
Channel: Roberts London
Odeon Leicester Square LED Screen Installation
Odeon Leicester Square LED Screen Installation
Published: 2016/04/22
Channel: Visual Technology
Jason Bourne European Premiere Odeon Leicester Square London UK
Jason Bourne European Premiere Odeon Leicester Square London UK
Published: 2016/07/12
Channel: Benjamin
Finding Dory Premiere UK London Leicester Square Odeon 2016 VIP
Finding Dory Premiere UK London Leicester Square Odeon 2016 VIP
Published: 2016/07/12
Channel: MineCartMayhem
Mastering Success Roadshow Highlights | Odeon Cinema Leicester Square
Mastering Success Roadshow Highlights | Odeon Cinema Leicester Square
Published: 2017/04/24
Channel: Forever Living Products (UK)
Compton organ, Leicester Square
Compton organ, Leicester Square
Published: 2013/02/15
Channel: Björn Haglund
Noah UK Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Noah UK Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2014/04/11
Channel: ODEON Cinemas
Tammy at Odeon in Leicester Square in London
Tammy at Odeon in Leicester Square in London
Published: 2016/11/08
Channel: TammyWhoTex
Behind The Scenes At Leicester Square Odeon, 1930
Behind The Scenes At Leicester Square Odeon, 1930's - Film 748
Published: 2013/10/31
Channel: HuntleyFilmArchives
Ellie Bamber @ Odeon Leicester Square, London 14 Oct 2016 Friday
Ellie Bamber @ Odeon Leicester Square, London 14 Oct 2016 Friday
Published: 2016/10/25
Channel: joeyk86
World Premiere of San Andreas London Odeon Leicester Square
World Premiere of San Andreas London Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2015/05/23
Channel: Natalja
The film premiere of
The film premiere of 'Fifty Shades Darker' held at Odeon Leicester Square in London, UK.
Published: 2017/05/26
Channel: ZTimages
Argo Premiere Odeon Leicester Square London Red Carpet
Argo Premiere Odeon Leicester Square London Red Carpet
Published: 2012/10/17
Channel: victoriamaria14
PETER KAY AT THE ODEON,LEICESTER SQUARE
PETER KAY AT THE ODEON,LEICESTER SQUARE
Published: 2006/12/28
Channel: Jameson Bedonie
Fonejacker - Odeon Leicester Square [S01 E02]
Fonejacker - Odeon Leicester Square [S01 E02]
Published: 2012/09/05
Channel: Matt Sephton
Divergent European Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Divergent European Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2014/04/11
Channel: ODEON Cinemas
Johnny Depp at Lone Ranger Premiere, Odeon Leicester Square, London
Johnny Depp at Lone Ranger Premiere, Odeon Leicester Square, London
Published: 2013/07/22
Channel: Val Johnson
Leicester Square Cinemas February 2015 (London)
Leicester Square Cinemas February 2015 (London)
Published: 2015/02/21
Channel: Elokuva Teatteri
360° Odeon - Leicester Square
360° Odeon - Leicester Square
Published: 2017/05/12
Channel: TheBeaverGroup
Prince Charles at The Odeon Leicester Square
Prince Charles at The Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2015/03/18
Channel: LilFashion Lover
London By Night - Donald MacKenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square Compton Organ
London By Night - Donald MacKenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square Compton Organ
Published: 2017/03/28
Channel: Donald MacKenzie - Concert Organist
Frontage Of The Odeon Leicester Square - Film 11425
Frontage Of The Odeon Leicester Square - Film 11425
Published: 2013/08/30
Channel: HuntleyFilmArchives
Donald MacKenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square
Donald MacKenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2014/10/07
Channel: Undergroundpianola
Black Mass premiere at Odeon Leicester Square Benedict Cumberbatch
Black Mass premiere at Odeon Leicester Square Benedict Cumberbatch
Published: 2015/12/08
Channel: Ana Trifescu
Minions  at The film premiere of Minions at Odeon Leicester Square in London, UK.
Minions at The film premiere of Minions at Odeon Leicester Square in London, UK.
Published: 2015/06/12
Channel: ZTIchannel
Official Batmobile at ODEON Leicester Square
Official Batmobile at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2016/03/02
Channel: ODEON Cinemas
Mama Mia Film Premire at the London Odeon, Leicester Square
Mama Mia Film Premire at the London Odeon, Leicester Square
Published: 2008/07/17
Channel: Camvista
Crystal Palace Awards Ceremony at ODEON Leicester Square
Crystal Palace Awards Ceremony at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2016/10/03
Channel: ODEON Cinemas
World Premiere of San Andreas London Odeon Leicester Square
World Premiere of San Andreas London Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2015/05/23
Channel: Natalja
Godzilla European Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Godzilla European Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2014/05/12
Channel: ODEON Cinemas
CINEMAS. ODEON, Leicester SQ.
CINEMAS. ODEON, Leicester SQ.
Published: 2015/10/09
Channel: Thames News
Giant videowall at Odeon - Leicester square London
Giant videowall at Odeon - Leicester square London
Published: 2014/07/01
Channel: Scala
World Premiere of San Andreas London Odeon Leicester Square
World Premiere of San Andreas London Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2015/05/22
Channel: Natalja
Odeon, Leicester Square Projection Box 6 Sep 2017 360 degree pan
Odeon, Leicester Square Projection Box 6 Sep 2017 360 degree pan
Published: 2017/09/13
Channel: P.J. Foreman
Odeon Cinema - Leicester Square - Mr Miggins - Fonejacker.eu
Odeon Cinema - Leicester Square - Mr Miggins - Fonejacker.eu
Published: 2007/09/19
Channel: Sweetlou0909
Eragon Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square
Eragon Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2008/05/07
Channel: Phelpsaholics
Odeon Leicester Square
Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2015/11/07
Channel: Thenlondo Spider-Man
Donald Mackenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square London (Part 2)
Donald Mackenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square London (Part 2)
Published: 2010/10/23
Channel: Yusaini Usulludin
Down With The Curtain - Donald MacKenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square Compton Organ
Down With The Curtain - Donald MacKenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square Compton Organ
Published: 2017/07/10
Channel: Donald MacKenzie - Concert Organist
"Saving Mr Banks" Flash Mob,  Odeon Leicester Square
"Saving Mr Banks" Flash Mob, Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2013/11/29
Channel: David Bland
Bridget Jones
Bridget Jones's Baby World Premiere Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2016/09/06
Channel: silverprincess007
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie | World Premiere Highlights | Odeon Leicester Square
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie | World Premiere Highlights | Odeon Leicester Square
Published: 2016/07/04
Channel: Fox Searchlight UK
Kingsman: The Secret Service Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Kingsman: The Secret Service Premiere at ODEON Leicester Square
Published: 2015/01/16
Channel: TheBeaverGroup
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Odeon Leicester Square
Leicester Square Odeon.jpg
Odeon Leicester Square in 2006
Address Leicester Square
London, WC2
United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′38″N 0°07′45″W / 51.510556°N 0.129167°W / 51.510556; -0.129167Coordinates: 51°30′38″N 0°07′45″W / 51.510556°N 0.129167°W / 51.510556; -0.129167
Public transit London Underground Leicester Square
Type Cinema
Capacity 1,679
Opened 2 November 1937; 79 years ago (1937-11-02)
Website
Odeon Leicester Square

The Odeon Leicester Square is a cinema which occupies the centre of the eastern side of Leicester Square in London, dominating the square with its huge black polished granite facade and 120 feet (37 m) high tower displaying its name. Blue neon outlines the exterior of the building at night. It was built to be the flagship[1] of Oscar Deutsch's Odeon Cinema Circuit and still holds that position today. It hosts numerous European and world film premieres[2][3][4][5] including the annual Royal Film Performance.[6]

History[edit]

The Odeon as seen from Leicester Square

The Odeon was completed by Sir Robert McAlpine in 1937[7] to the design of Harry Weedon and Andrew Mather on the site of the Turkish baths and the adjoining Alhambra Theatre a large music hall dating from the 1850s. The site cost £550,000, the cinema took seven months to build at a cost of £232,755[1] with 2116 seats.[8] The opening night was Tuesday 2 November 1937; the film shown that night was The Prisoner of Zenda.[1]

The interior was a magnificent art-deco auditorium, with a ribbed ceiling and sidewalls, featuring concealed strip lighting in coves, and two bas relief sculptures of naked nymphs were positioned on the front splay walls, as if leaping towards the screen. All the seats were covered in a faux-leopard skin material. A modernisation in 1967 removed many of the original features, with all of the ribbed plasterwork from the balcony to the proscenium replaced by smooth finishes. A refurbishment in 1998 included new versions of some lost details, including the figures, and seating upholstery pattern.

The first wide-screen (screen ratio 1.66:1) ever installed in Great Britain was premiered on 14 May 1953,[9] the film shown was Tonight We Sing. The British debut of CinemaScope (screen ratio 2.55:1) following soon after on 19 November 1953[10] with the quasi-biblical epic, The Robe. The first cinema to show cinemascope in London was the Odeon Tottenham Court Road (9 June 1953) which was also the venue for the first screening of Cinerama.[11]

The theatre's Chief Engineer, Nigel Wolland, was awarded an MBE for services to the film industry in 2007.[12] The theatre's general manager, Chris Hilton, was awarded an MBE for services to the film industry in 2010.[13]

After Nigel Wolland's retirement in 2006, Mark Nice was appointed the cinema's Chief Engineer. Mark Nice has recently been promoted the position of Odeon Engineer with Toni Purvis assuming the role of Operations Manager Digital.

Technical specifications[edit]

The Odeon is the largest single-screen cinema in the United Kingdom and one of the few with its circle and stalls remaining intact. The cinema is fully equipped to show films in 35mm, 70mm and digital on a 48ft. wide screen, as well as extensive stage facilities for the occasional live show.

The cinema still has an operating Compton organ, its console lit from within by coloured lighting, and a safety curtain detailed in 1930s art-deco motifs.

Two sets of tabs (curtains) are also installed and used for most performances. The cinema houses all major digital sound systems: Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, Dolby Digital and DTS. It had the UK's first wide-screen installed in 1953, and more recently, was the first to have a digital projector installed in 1999.

There are 1683 seats – reduced from nearly 2000 to make way for greater leg-room – with a large circle bar and even "Royal Retiring Room" for visiting monarchs. Seating is divided between the Royal Circle, Rear Circle and Stalls.

In March 2011, all the cinema's screens converted to Digital Projection equipment with 3D capability. Up until 2009 the cinema and film distributors did not have faith in the reliability of digital presentations, so the cinema would run a 35mm print alongside. If the digital show failed the projectionist would switch to film. If that projector then failed, the performance would be abandoned. One 35mm/70mm projector has been retained, and has been used for recent 70mm releases including "The Hateful Eight," "Interstellar" and "Dunkirk." A silver screen is used for 3D presentations, placed in front of the white screen used for 2D presentations. The silver screen is a fraction smaller and screen tabs are not used during 3D performances. Most of the trained projectionists at the Odeon retired, or were made redundant in 2011. Presentations are now mostly automated.

Odeon Studios[edit]

Inserted into what was once an alleyway running alongside the main house, is "Odeon Studios," a "mini-plex" containing five much smaller auditoria, each seating between 50 and 60 patrons. It was originally named "Odeon Mezzanine," but was rebranded following a refurbishment in 2012.

Future Developments[edit]

Odeon plans on a full refurbishment at a projected cost of £10-15m, which will see the building retained as a single screen cinema with stalls and circle levels, with the stated intention to maintain its character.[14]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c page 131, Odeon Cinemas 1: Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation, Allen Eyles, 2002, British Film Institute Publishing
  2. ^ Steffan Laugharne, Ken Roe. "Cinema Treasures – Odeon Leicester Square". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Odeon Leicester Square: World Premiere of 'Harry Potter' And The Deathly Hallows Pt 1 MTV Retrieved 24 March 2011
  4. ^ The world premiere of Avatar at Odeon Leicester Square The Telegraph Retrieved 24 March 2011
  5. ^ Alice in Wonderland premiere in Leicester Square, London The Telegraph Retrieved 24 March 2011
  6. ^ Casino Royale is 60th royal film BBC News Retrieved 24 March 2011
  7. ^ "A portrait of achievement" (PDF). Sir Robert McAlpine. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  8. ^ page 247, Odeon Cinemas 1: Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation, Allen Eyles, 2002, British Film Institute Publishing
  9. ^ page 40, Odeon Cinemas 2: From J. Arthur Rank to the Multiplex, Allen Eyles, 2005, British Film Institute Publishing
  10. ^ page 41, Odeon Cinemas 2: From J. Arthur Rank to the Multiplex, Allen Eyles, 2005, British Film Institute Publishing
  11. ^ "Odeon Tottenham Court Road". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  12. ^ "New Year Honours: full list". The Times, London, 29 December 2007.
  13. ^ Ex-Leicester Square Odeon cinema boss Chris Hilton awarded MBE in Honours List West End Extra Retrieved 24 March 2011
  14. ^ Robert Mitchell (11 April 2017). "AMC to Undertake Major Refurbishment of London’s Iconic Odeon Leicester Square". Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 

Sources[edit]

  • Guide to British Theatres 1750–1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 128 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3

External links[edit]

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