Odeon Luxe London Haymarket

11-18 Panton Street,
London, SW1Y 4DP

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Lionel on August 6, 2022 at 9:42 am

Short YouTube video showing the ABC Panton Street in 1998 (street view then projection booth): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh6OI0Slxd8

rivest266 on October 19, 2021 at 1:52 am

1971 article at https://www.vads.ac.uk/digital/collection/DIAD/id/3803

rivest266 on May 21, 2021 at 12:35 pm

Opening article from the London Illustrated news. The four-in-one house THERE MAY, FOR ONCE, BE A GRAIN OF truth in the stale public relations boast that the opening of Cinecenta (Britain’s first “four-in-one cinema, situated in Panton Street, just off Leicester Square) marks the onset of a quiet revolution in our filmgoing habits. Cinecenta does seem like an encouragingly realistic experiment in the light of the three most well-known facts about the industry in this country: that most of our cinemas are far too large; that public attendances at these cinemas continue to decrease every year; and that more films are being made than ever before, both here and abroad, a large proportion of which are never available for the potential moviegoer to enjoy. Cinecenta is a complex of four fairly intimate theatres, each with a seating capacity of only 150, which, between them, will exhibit some 30 new pictures in the course of 1969. Plans are in hand to develop similar centres in 15 or so locations throughout Britain as well as in other parts of London. They will not be art houses, and their products will be drawn from a number of international sources including Denmark, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and France. The fact that the first four choices at the West End Cinecenta—one British, one French, and two Swedish —all bear an X Certificate strikes me as coincidence rather than an actual reflection of the company’s policy: of these four, only one, The Sinning Urge, directed by Hans Abramson might be thought to fall into the category of just another sex film. Far and away the best work currently on show at Cinecenta is Jan Troell’s Who Saw Him Die? (Swedish title: Ole Doll Doff) which won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Festival last year. Per Oscarsson, looking like a Swedish Tom Courtenay, is Martensson, a neurotic but well-intentioned schoolmaster, tortured by his rebellious adolescent pupils, by an unhappy wife (Kerstin Tidelius), and, above all, by his own feelings of impotence and self-doubt. The style of the film is deceptively inconsequential; the grainy black and white photography conceals an awareness of a man and his crumbling mental capacities that is almost unbearable in its realism. I hope it would not be reading too much into Jan Troell’s intentions to say that Martensson is presented as an archetype of a modern Scandinavian, even of a modern western man. He hates and fears, yet respects, the grimy technology he sees all around him; lusts, by contrast, after the fresh faces of girls he sees in fashion magazines; enjoys a brief, sexless respite with a female colleague who feels sorry for him; feels his energies and early ambitions sapping away; despises himself for the platitudes he is obliged to mouth to his unruly class. At the end he dies, trying to save a pupil from drowning—at least, one assumes that he dies. What has been the point of his life? I shall be surprised if a more depressing, truthful, and thoroughly brilliant film is shown at Cinecenta this year. The British offering Wonderwall, directed by Joe Massot, by contrast, is groovy, colourful, and rather slight. An eccentric old professor (Jack MacGowran) enjoys watching a pretty model girl (Jane Birkin) through a hole in his wall, and when you’ve said that you’ve practically said it all. This profound comment on the voyeuristic appetites of the male species is padded out to 93 minutes running time by some inventive, psychedelic photography, and by guest appearances, in the best tradition of British film comedy, by those old stalwarts, Richard Wattis and Irene Handl. I enjoyed, as much as anything, George Harrison’s weird, evocative score (yes, that George Harrison) and, if I’m honest, the many beautifully composed shots of Miss Birkin’s body modelling and making love. As a film Wonderwall is quite enjoyable for pure visual experience; as a story it is slow to the point of not even getting off the ground, and leaves one with a strong feeling of regret that for their first production Alan Clore Films have not been able to devote their considerable resources to something more substantial. The French have come up with Les Biches, (“ The Wantons ”), in which Jean- Louis Trintignant, the heart-throb of Un Homme et Une Femme, seduces two women, a young, poor one (Jaqueline Sassard) and an older, rich one (Stephane Audran) and, since he is unable to make up his mind about either and since they are devoted to each other anyway, an idyllic menage a trois develops in off-season St Tropez. The idyll does not last and the film ends in recrimination and murder. It is worth visiting Cinecenta to enjoy Jean Rabiera’s superb colour photography. Director: Claude Chabrol. At Academy Cinema Two there is an interesting Hungaro-Russian co-production, The Red and the White, directed by Miklos Jancso and shot in Russia on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It is set in the early period of the Russian Civil War that followed that Revolution: fighting on the side of the Red forces is so-called Internationalist Unit, formed from among Hungarian prisoners of war, and it is through their eyes that we follow the inhuman, fratricidal struggle between the troops of the Revolution and the White, counter-revolutionary armies. It is a confusing near-masterpiece—it never for one moment becomes clear from the subtitles who is Red and who is White dramatic but not particularly moving, full of beauty and horror, with an oddly empty, spacious, timeless quality about it. Some of Tamas Somlo’s photographic work is utterly haunting: there is a shot of some nurses, dressed as Tsarist ladies for the benefit of the White officers, walking through a wood of silver birch, which will remain with me long after the film’s more direct impact has faded. Revivals: Hitchcock’s The Birds (Classic, Baker Street, January 19 -25); Rod Steiger in The Pawnbroker (Classic, Chelsea, January 19-25); Chabrol’s B/«e/)eorr/(same cinema, January2o-24 late shows);Orson Welles in Macbeth (Classic, Hampstead, January 22 only); The Graduate (Classic, Hampstead, January 19-24, except 22nd); (Classic, Kilburn, January 19-25); Terence Stamp, Monica Vitti in Modesty Blaise (Classic, Netting Hill Gate, January 19-25); Gorki trilogy part I: The Childhood of Maxim Gorki (Everyman, Hampstead, January 20-February 2); Cukor’s The Chapman Report (National Film Theatre, January 20 6,15 and 8.30).

Lionel on October 4, 2020 at 3:32 pm

I recently bought a copy of Philip Turner’s book “Cinecenta Cinemas” (see it here . It’s an excellent book. Very rich of informations and illustrations despite its small size (A5 format, 30 pages). Copies are still available on various online shops including Amazon.

Lionel on May 28, 2020 at 6:00 pm

I just found these short films showing the animated sign of the cinema from 1969 when called the Cinecenta :


CF100 on April 29, 2018 at 11:01 am

Zappomatic: Well spotted, thanks for the correction!

Zappomatic on April 29, 2018 at 1:49 am

It appears Swindon Interiors have reused the photos of the Putney refurbishment on that page.

CF100 on April 27, 2018 at 9:57 pm

Swindon Interiors – Project Description – Odeon Panton Street.

Swindon Interiors were the principal contractor for the “Luxe” refurbishment, and the above linked page has photos of auditoria, foyer and toilets, with Dyson Airblade hand dryers prominently featured!

According to that page, the project also involved asbestos removal.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on March 27, 2018 at 6:37 pm

I was in Screen 2 last week and it was very nice. They have a proper ‘scope screen, and they used their side masking for their flat trailers and ads, opening it for their 'scope feature. The reclining seats are so comfortable that I had trouble staying awake, even though I was enjoying the movie. The screen is kind of small and off-center to the front of the auditorium, but it couldn’t be any larger due to the width of the auditorium. The presentation was excellent.

PhilipWW on March 27, 2018 at 4:11 pm

I never went into the old Odeon but may be tempted now it has been refurbished.

Can anyone tell me about the screens? I guess they must be relatively small given the size of the cinema, but are they a good size relative to the auditorium sizes? Have they changed with the refurbishment? Are they Scope?

Ian on February 4, 2018 at 9:48 am

Photo of the Odeon in new Luxe guise – January 2018 – here:–


CF100 on December 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm

An Odeon press release on the new LUXE auditoria at Putney, Haymarket and Swiss Cottage says that:

–“Each reclining screen will be upgraded with new speakers and Dolby 7.1 surround sound throughout to see the latest entertainment in style… –"Haymarket will include… four fully-refurbished screens with upgraded Dolby ATMOS sound systems… [and]… 24 speakers across all auditoriums.”

On Odeon’s website, no reference to ATMOS can be found under “Cinema information.”

I assume they mean 24 screens in each auditoria, otherwise that’s only enough for 5.1 in each, L/C/R/LFE behind screen, and a “rear array” comprising 2 speakers!

OTOH 24 in each would imply a seriously overspecified rear array for such small auditoria. Maybe they’re counting every driver (e.g. every woofer?) Go figure…

CF100 on December 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Zappomatic: One of the photos to which you refer on Odeon’s site is actually of a Luxe iSense auditorium!

It’s the one with the blue concealed LED lighting on the sidewalls. The overhead speakers for Dolby Atmos can clearly be seen.

(As an aside, why aren’t more interesting LED colours than plain “Royal Blue” used? Green and blue monochromatic LED colours typically lack warmth and magic… but mixing them yields a lovely “Blade Runner” cyan…)

Zappomatic on December 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Reopens Thursday 14 December with Battle of the Sexes, Blade of the Immortal, Brigsby Bear, Stronger, The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project and The Man Who Invented Christmas.

Now has 45 seats in screen 1 (plus 1 wheelchair space), 49 seats in screen 2 (plus 1 wheelchairs space), 47 seats in screen 3 and 44 seats in screen 4. All screens are equipped with RealD.

Adult ticket prices have increased to £10 off-peak (Monday to Thursday) and £15 peak (Friday to Sunday).

The webpage is using photos of another Odeon Luxe so I fear some people might be a little disappointed by these dinky screens!

CF100 on October 25, 2017 at 10:16 pm

Here’s the planning application for the new signage.

A recent licensing application is also listed; alas the only information within is:

“A refurbishment is proposed at the premises involving the removal of existing fixed seating in each of the four auditoria involving the introduction of larger, more luxurious, fewer fixed seats resulting in an overall reduced capacity.”

CF100 on October 25, 2017 at 10:01 pm

From Odeon’s website:

“less seats and more personal space… it’s time to experience films the way they were meant to be seen with ISENSE… Dolby Atmos sound and flawless 4K projection.”

The East Kilbride location features “Luxury hand stitched reclining seats.” The auditoria look good…

Panton Street, OTOH, could be considered the ultimate wrong venue for spacious luxury cinemas… would seem to be some room for reconfiguration if the projection booths are dispensed with to form boothless auditoria.

Zappomatic on October 22, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Now closed for refurbishment, reopening December.

Jcw on October 19, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Surprised that this is getting the Luxe treatment and not Odeon Covent Garden.

Zappomatic on October 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Closing on 23 October for refurbishment into ODEON Luxe Haymarket. Very little change externally – panelling under the ODEON lettering to become blue with LUXE lettering on top.

Lionel on April 16, 2017 at 9:08 pm

The link to the article quoted by CF100 “Four-in-one-cinema” doesn’t work anymore because it was modified. I found it with Google : https://vads.ac.uk/diad/article.php?title=243&article=d.243.39

Only went once to this cinema while on holiday in London in the eighties, to see “Throw momma from the train”. I found both the seat and screen to be small, and had to sit in the first few rows for a satisfactory “wide screen” illusion. I’m surprised to see it still stands today. I guess the program and refurbishment have been smartly thought out.

Woody_London on June 1, 2015 at 11:23 pm

getting a battleship grey make-over while the Odeon West End is being demolished

CF100 on May 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Four-in-one-cinema – Design Journal (1969) article published at the time of its opening as a Cinecenta; it includes a number of photos and a plan. Quite a compromised (asymmetric auditoria) design for a new build.

AdoraKiaOra on June 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm

A really horrible place.