Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square

5 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7NA

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CF100 on September 8, 2022 at 4:13 pm

Cineworld have announced:

“Cineworld and certain of its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Group Chapter 11 Companies”) have commenced Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (the “Court”).”

Source: Cineworld Group plc - Announcement.

The above link is to a newly launched website pertaining to the proceedings, under the domain, a somewhat odd name.

Meanwhile, IMAX’s CFO states that IMAX sites operate under a master lease agreement that covers all of an operator’s locations. She goes on to suggest:

“[If they’re going to operate they will] clean up the under-performing complexes and either sell them off or do something with them. But that’s not where IMAX screens are — IMAX screens are all in the top-performing complexes.”

Clearly, in a world where “tentpole” releases still drawn in crowds, whilst streaming is snapping on the heels of mid-budget titles, a cinema with 3 premium format screens, one of which is exceptional, and 6 “studio” sized auditoria, is configured in a way that is more suitable than “megaplexes”…

CP200 on September 1, 2022 at 2:59 pm

next the skips to throw that cineworld sign and that liemax superscreen into the rubbish skip like, empire cinemas did to the only THX cinema in the uk.

CF100 on August 19, 2022 at 7:34 am

The Wall Street Journal reports that Cineworld are preparing to file for bankruptcy. The writing has been on the wall, given mounting debts. Will be interesting to see the future of this and their other flagship locations.

CF100 on July 23, 2022 at 6:33 pm

Exterior footage of The Empire, Leicester Square in 1896 (!) with “Lumiere Cinematographe” signage (and yes, horses and carts to boot…)

Lionel on February 10, 2022 at 9:56 am

Filmed in 1986 and posted today on YouTube:

Demonstrating screen masking for 35mm and 70mm aspect ratios at the Empire

This was the installation from 1962 on to when they slightly enlarged the screen in the early 2000’s.

CP200 on February 4, 2022 at 12:48 pm

Couldn’t care less about empire 1 anymore its gone turned into a rubbish Liemax video screen tiny screen.

CF100 on January 3, 2022 at 11:10 am

Bagnall Demolition — The Empire.

According to the above-linked page, when UCI operated the cinema, this company performed an asbestos survey, in which asbestos-containing materials identified included “spray coatings, asbestos insulation board ceilings and cement.” Subsequently, removal work took place (logistically not so easy) and a new survey to update the asbestos register was undertaken.

Hmm. I’d still be surprised if no asbestos removal was needed above the ceiling during the strip-out of the old Empire 1. I’m fairly surprised that the old wall/ceiling tiles apparently didn’t contain any… (otherwise the wall tiles wouldn’t have been removed aggressively ASAP after the auditorium closed for renovation.)

CF100 on October 15, 2021 at 1:51 pm

Photos of the old Empire 1 (press conference with actor Robert Vaughn) taken in 1966:

Photo 1.

Photo 2.

Shame they are not colour!

CF100 on September 19, 2021 at 6:06 am

Thank you rivest266. That does bring into sharp relief just how long ago it was! The 1960’s auditorium combined modernism with traditional theatrical elements in a way that, unlike those adverts, it never felt dated (even if for practical purposes, it was.)

rivest266 on May 19, 2021 at 8:16 am

1962 and 1985 grand opening ads posted.

CF100 on April 14, 2021 at 2:58 pm

Ron Knee:

the Sheds and Warehouses that are called cinemas are within sight, they were really only there to sell food, not interested in those of us who wished to enjoy the film!!!

Concessions have been a key part of the cinema “business model” for as long as I’ve been alive, and probably going back decades before.

There are plenty of aspects of cinema operation to grumble about, and in my writeups on this site I even mention a poor signal-to-noise ratio on the left surrounds!

Cineworld, however, were investing in top-of-the-line “IMAX with Laser” screens. All IMAX digital screens feature daily automatic recalibration systems (for audio, they use a version of Audyssey EQ, as found in various consumer AV receivers) and are connected to IMAX’s Network Operations Centre in Mississauga, Canada… Suffice it to say, the picture won’t be out of focus!

Modern cinema auditoria may lack the decorative aspects of yore, but they invariably are built with double stud walls full of Rockwool, neoprene isolation pads, acoustic absorption on all walls behind stretched fabric, and so on. Not to mention comfortable seating and excellent sightlines.

Here’s some blurb on the “Acoustic Isolation of Cinemas”:

Mason UK - Vibration Control - Acoustic Isolation of Cinemas.

CP200 on December 20, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Does cineworld still Liemaxing to the public as well as consumer rubbish Liemax for home cinema.

Okay now lets Roast imax corp, sound department and mixers that lie with LIEMAX sound mixes cos I believe along with stop the fomo, is correct and I never seen a Liemax myself only an imax that is rubbish with fake sub bass that only uses it from the fullrange 6ch. I never liked imax and certainly do not like Liemax. Empire 1 was perfect with JBL THX of the original 89 install.

CP200 on December 13, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Couldn’t care less about, disney or its star wars.

Now Warner Bros, what I find interesting is the 70mm Dolby Megasound on few movies, Wolfen, Superman II, Altered States,Outland.

Ron Knee
Ron Knee on December 12, 2020 at 10:14 am

Yes, the Sheds and Warehouses that are called cinemas are within sight, they were really only there to sell food, not interested in those of us who wished to enjoy the film!!!! Now that Disney has joined Warners, who will be next?


CP200 on October 7, 2020 at 3:46 pm

Well best news I have read. Empire 1 is long gone and I’m glad cinemas futures are bleak I couldn’t care less. Cinema in uk was dead when Empire 1 was killed by empire cinemas. Well I have no time to die, care for any bond movie or any movie. I hope imax liemax goes bust.

CF100 on October 5, 2020 at 7:49 am

News coming in quickly on this—cinemas are being “mothballed” for now, debt restructuring initiated.

CF100 on October 4, 2020 at 8:13 am

Thanks, Lionel. I can’t access the whole article due to it being paywalled.

It claims that cinemas “the rise of TVs and smartphones has turned routine trips to the flicks into a rarity,” but LSQ seemed to be doing very well indeed, sometimes very busy and with a “buzz” that reminscent of the early to mid 1990’s.

The old Empire 1 may have been, ahem, altered, and the new auditoria weren’t “the same”—but the IMAX still retained enough grandeur and magic—sitting in an optimum position (say row H)—the wide auditorium and arched ceiling, all bathed in light from concealed sources—it still felt like something unique and special—quite different to the usual multiplex “box.”

Who knows what the future holds now?

As for Cineworld, they had become too indebted to survive—they had some months of cash reserve, and then they would breach bank covenants. I guess they were able to hold on for a while, but the day has come when they can’t.

“COVID”—I continue to impose a high level of control to protect myself and others. Otherwise I am tired of hearing the latest figures and meandering interventions. All I can say is that the response at “state” level in the UK and many other countries has been amateur hour. The virus is not to be underestimated as trivial but it didn’t have to be this disasterous.

Lionel on October 4, 2020 at 7:27 am

Today’s article in the Telegraph mentioning it in a wider economical and political context :

CF100 on October 3, 2020 at 4:24 pm

The end of the road for Cineworld’s UK operations appears to be nigh:

CP200 on July 12, 2020 at 8:42 am

Fantasy EMPIRE 1. So is the Empire Leicester Square EMPIRE 1 gonna be rebuilt with liemax one thrown into the skip!

CF100 on March 19, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Universal Breaking Theatrical Windows to Stream ‘Invisible Man,’ ‘The Hunt,’ and ‘Emma’.

Who can say if this will set a precedent?

It might well be the case that investors are lumping cinemas in with “legacy” bricks and mortar retail/leisure businesses.

Cineworld FY2019 Results Presentation/Conference Call – 12th March 2020.

Results (as presented!) are good. Cineworld, however, have a mountain of debt. In the above linked presentation/conference call, they said that without doing anything they can cover costs for several months before being at risk of breaching loan covenants. At the time of the call, they had negotated lease payment breaks in Poland in case of closure.

At the time of the presentation, they also seemed to be working on the assumption that this would be over in 6 months.

Unless it is blocked, they are obligated to complete the takeover of Canada’s Cineplex.

Here’s the latest news:

Telegraph – Cineworld begins laying off staff. (Behind paywall.)

In the case of the share price tumbling, it is pretty clear that a lot of short positions were being held and were “cashed in.”

moviebuff82 on March 18, 2020 at 10:38 am

The shares of Cineworld, as well as AMC and Cinemark, are at all time lows as box office sales have been slowed down by recent events as well as growth in streaming at home. 100 years from now, cinemas might be obsolete?

Ian on March 18, 2020 at 6:54 am

Not all cinemas closed – yet. I have just seen Military Wives this morning at the Savoy in Grantham. They have stopped doing allocated seating, are doing extra cleaning, and ask patrons to allow two empty seats between parties (as well as all the usual advice). In fact there were only four of us in so isolation was not a problem at 10:30am.

CP200 on March 18, 2020 at 3:51 am

cineworld closed odeon closed all uk cinemas closed. its the end of hollywood box office as we know it?