Empire Leicester Square

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priamia
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#11 Post by priamia » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:37 pm

Sad times - Empire's screen 1 was the first London screening room that made me look around in awe. Although I had noticed a couple of audio issues, I didn't think it was gerenal - but film specific.

Will miss Empire screen 1. My only experience of screen 2 (Inception screening?) was poor. The floor was v sticky...
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#12 Post by opas » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:43 pm

What a shame, Empire Screen 1 was magnificent. I may be remembering it through rose-tinted glasses and I haven't been there for over a year, but I can't say that any sound problems it may have had bothered me. I always enjoyed the viewing experience there, definitely one of the top 3 screens in London for me.

Not sure if they have refurbished screen 2 but I last had the misfortune of seeing something in there about 4 years ago. Empire probably had one of the best and one of the worst screens under one roof. I will miss screen 1 but interested to see what will replace it.
Last edited by opas on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#13 Post by valda » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:22 pm

Beate wrote:It's obvious that the big premieres will now be in the Odeon Leicester Square as that's the second biggest screen there and a look on twitter (@UKFilmPremieres) this morning confirms this. It's never going to be as impressive as the Empire but it's a massive screen too.
And the really really big ones were in both at the same time :(
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#14 Post by TheDude » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:24 pm

Soundwise there was a bit of a funny echo sometimes, if you sat at the back, but that's a minor complaint really. Screen 1 was something special, and will be sorely missed if they indeed tear it down.

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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#15 Post by Jayman » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:27 am

Ditto, there was a very strong echo at the back. And if you found yourself seated on the ground level, you were almost guaranteed an obstructive, big head in front of you, especially if you were a shortie. And yet, I LOVED Screen one. What a size, what a lavish, beautiful design. Everytime I found myself seated there, I felt like a member of the esteemed glitterati.

Screen one, you will be missed sorely but we'll always have Zombieland, Due Date, The Karate Kid, Red Riding Hood, This Means War & Battleship.

Btw, the Odeon might seem smaller but it does in fact seat a larger capacity.
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#16 Post by TheyCallMeMrGlass » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:45 am

Oh man, I am so sad at this news, perhaps it was inevitable but I have such great memories of this screen...the very best memories. It was my favourite screen.

My first ever visit to this cinema and screen 1 was In 1990 when I saw Back to the Future 2. Compared to the other cinemas that I had gone to including the gigantic Odeon Marble Arch screen (since knocked into several pieces as will happen to this screen), I was in awe of the grandness of this screen's interior and its decor. It felt like a fusion of a very large scale theatre house but with neon lighting. When the commercials played, though, I was somewhat disappointed! Why? Because it looked so small! My then girlfriend and I were laughing, jeering that our TV was bigger. The commercials/trailers ended and the curtains drew shut again. The lights faded, so I expected the film to begin but suddenly the whole auditorium was ablaze with laser lights and then the theme tune of Back to the Future boomed out of the incredible sound system, my heart pumped rapidly with uncontrollable excitement, on the red curtains the laser show was creating all sorts of familiar shapes including the delorean, then came the laser countdown 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 syncing brilliantly with the crescendo of the theme tune, the curtains drew open again...and continued to open wider than it had done earlier...and then wider still...whoaa...

No other cinema in my experience beat that for presentation and that was just a normal show, not a premiere. That was the norm for every show. They would tailor the laser show for some movies, otherwise they had a standard laser show. Sadly they stopped doing that in the mid 90s or so. But Empire Screen one was still a standout venue for me and ironically, it did have the most terrific sound system, THX certified unmatched by the other big guns including Odeon Leicester square (which I think is horrid to this day despite its refurbishment). However, Empire lost the THX certification from Lucas Sound and yes there is a bit of echo but no where near as bad as the Odeon Leicester square.

I made sure I saw all the blockbusters on this screen from Jurassic Par to Star Trek movies. But in the last decade it lost its premiere status to Odeon Leicester Square and so dont get the big films on their opening run except for festival features and events. For me my two most memorable event days were all day marathons of Star Trek (7 films from ST:Motion Picture to the premiere showing of Generations at midnight) and Star Wars Celebration in which they showed all 6 films again culminating with the premiere of the final movie with George Lucas and other stars making an appearance. I think the very last time I have seen a film there now was V/H/S last year at FrightFest.

Goodbye Empire Screen 1, thanks for the memories.
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#17 Post by Jayman » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:55 am

Great post, Mr Glass. I heard about the legendary laser shows.
Wish I could have experienced one for myself.
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#18 Post by opas » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:04 am

Yes, great memories Mr Glass, it is a shame they didn't make the remodelling date public or at least widely report on their plans to give people notice. It would have given people a chance to visit the screen one last time before the changes.
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#19 Post by TheyCallMeMrGlass » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:20 pm

opas wrote:Yes, great memories Mr Glass, it is a shame they didn't make the remodelling date public or at least widely report on their plans to give people notice. It would have given people a chance to visit the screen one last time before the changes.
They probably thought about it but then considered the backlash of protest at the same time. Would have depended on what movie they showed too. Perhaps they could have done a one more marathon extravaganza and resurrect the laser show (I had spoken to the manager a little while back who had been there since my early visiting days and he said they still have it installed! But running costs was not feasible). Perhaps the marathon could have been 7 of the biggest blockbusters they had shown in the past 20-30 years. Its all wishful thinking now :)

I'm sure they are sad themselves in demolishing it but to survive this harsh financial environment, they probably have to follow the relatively successful multiplex model. The irony is that their other smaller screens are really crap! Screens 3 and 4 are the size of toilets...what am I saying, they actually were toilets! See those two screens were built in replace of the Gents toilets, a few years ago, lol.
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Re: Empire Leicester Square

#20 Post by scootermcc » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:41 am

Heard a rumour that one of the screens in the conversion could be an Imax screen

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