Odeon Luxe London Leicester Square

26 Leicester Square,
London, WC2H 7LQ

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joeswin on January 11, 2019 at 6:32 am

It’s nice the organ will be a regular weekend feature according to their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BsfbQ0InZ2C/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=egjdadcb9qct

CF100 on January 10, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Ian and Kers for your accounts.


except the heating system had failed, so the auditorium was extremely chilly

Oh dear! It was extremely cold yesterday—at least by the standards of this island’s temperate climate! Hopefully it wasn’t totally unbearable?

I was told that engineers spent a week perfecting the sound system.

If I may ask, from where did you obtain this information?

The screen has been moved up from the previous position and does not appear to be angled in the way the old screen was. One now has to look up at the screen, although not a problem in Row H if you use the recliner. The screen also looked – to my eyes anyway – slightly smaller than before. Perhaps a consequence of moving the screen upwards? I would welcome others peoples' opinion on the screen size.

Comparing Ian’s flickr-uploaded photo of the refurbished auditorium with a photo of the OLS auditorium from rear circle, it does seem that the screen has been raised up slightly, albeit looking at other photos of the refurbished auditorium with the organ raised up, it would appear that, were it positioned any lower, then it would have partially obstructed the view of the screen from the front stalls?

It does very much look like the angle has changed.

Unless the proscenium opening has been reduced in size (e.g. addition of acoustic absorption on edges)—and that would presumably be a matter of a few inches—then the screen looks about the same size?

the digital safety curtain, which is also animated and has a tune!

Good grief, it is shown after all!

Odeon employs a doorman/woman to open and close the main doors on to the street

D'oh! That’s the word I had been looking for. I suspect it won’t, but I hope that is continued.

Regarding auditorium fill rates—it is now off-season. Good to hear that it did well over Christmas/New Year.

Now, about the film…


Ian on January 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Forgot to add about the souvenir programme which on page 2 states:–


Have the no-curtains policymakers ever talked to the publicity department? Or, just maybe, are they (like the flying ladies) awaiting installation?

Kers on January 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm

I attended the 5.15pm performance of Mary Poppins Returns yesterday (9th Jan). I sat in the Stalls Row H, in the centre. There are just 9 rows in the stalls, which are now stepped (one step on Rows C-F and two each on Rows G-I).

Picture, sound, comfort all top notch (except the heating system had failed, so the auditorium was extremely chilly). I was told that engineers spent a week perfecting the sound system.

As others have alluded, the proscenium end leaves something to be desired. The Flying Ladies are still grounded and there are sadly no tabs. There is side masking in place, inexplicably left open before the film. There did appear to be a vertical mask that moved slightly downwards before the feature, so I fail to understand why Odeon does not start with the side masking closed, as at other sites – that would look so much more professional!

The screen has been moved up from the previous position and does not appear to be angled in the way the old screen was. One now has to look up at the screen, although not a problem in Row H if you use the recliner. The screen also looked – to my eyes anyway – slightly smaller than before. Perhaps a consequence of moving the screen upwards? I would welcome others peoples' opinion on the screen size.

The screen initially greets the audience with a static caption which simply displays the name of the cinema, this is followed by the standard CGI ‘O’ ident that played here previously. Following the adverts and trailers we get to see, big drum roll….the digital safety curtain, which is also animated and has a tune! The film itself is almost an anti-climax.

Some nice touches – Odeon employs a doorman/woman to open and close the main doors on to the street, all the staff I spoke to are very friendly and helpful, and you even get presented with a souvenir programme on the way out.

The clock and lift were still out of action – engineers were on site!

So how is business? Intially, Mary Poppins Returns was playing to audiences of around 600, but just 25 tickets has been sold 15 minutes prior to my screening. There were only 8 other people in the stalls.

I also mentioned the prices in an earlier post. My ticket cost £14.25 including booking fee and 10% member discount, a big drop from the opening week prices and cheaper than Vue or Picturehouse Central. Stan & Ollie (opening 11th Jan) appears to be maintaining the lower prices and Glass (starts 18th Jan) opening night is £30.75 Royal Circle and £20.75 in the stalls.

Now, about the film….

Ian on January 10, 2019 at 5:36 am

I saw “Mary Poppins Returns” here yesterday (fairly quiet at 14:15 showing but schools back now)from a front row seat in the royal box which I highly recommend as the location in the auditorium. Picture quality and sound superb. Refurb still very much on-going – mass exodus of workmen and frantic clearing-up in foyer just before doors opened. Can only echo comments above that tabs are very much required here – flying ladies due back imminently I was told by very enthusiastic and pleasant staff. Some pics:–





Apologies for the poor quality of the auditorium shot. It was taken with permission, but without tripod, and it is very dark inside resulting in significant camerashake!

terry on January 8, 2019 at 11:22 am

This was in response to articles I forwarded to a friend in Germany (whose family operate cinemas over there) re the reopening of two UK cinemas on the same day, namely the Rex Wilmslow – and the Odeon Leicester Square:–

“What a warmhearted, lovely article you sent me about the recent opening of the glamorous “REX” Cinema in Wilmslow. I could truly sense that this family are doing their business with “heart and soul” and as we say over here in Germany with “Herzblut” = Heartblood. What a lovely auditorium — with S C R E E N – C U R T A I N S in function for giving the audiences not only the ultimate warm welcome but supplying them with the ultimate “Movie -Feeling” too.

Yet, the ‘OLS’ London, recently opened after more than one years costly refurbishing, transforming this once cinematic “flagship” into a Dolby Luxe Cinema looks somehow “poorly” and “cold” in comparison with the lovely ‘Rex’ Wilmslow – if I may say so.

N o S c r e e n – C u r t a i n s…….this really is an absolute “no go” for a Cinema with that history and background."

CF100 on January 8, 2019 at 10:01 am

FanaticalAboutOdeon: Many thanks for posting your detailed account.

I stopped by the OLS a couple of days ago—albeit only having a quick look around the foyers—mostly the circle lounge/“Oscar’s Bar.”

The ambience achieved from start to finish—the doors from Leicester Square being manually opened for patrons on entry (I wonder if this will occur on a permanent basis?)—is one of overwhelming supreme luxury and quality.

The glass box is a wonderful addition, appearing to be well-insulated, and the seating looked very comfortable indeed.

A couple of additional points:

-The high specification of finishes continues into the toilets-at circle level, white marble tiled walls in the access to the male toilets extends into the toilets.

-A number of snags could be seen, including paint edge lines that ought to be tidied up, and two holes in the plasterboard ceiling of the circle lounge were visible, one with wiring left hanging. In the male toilets at circle level, on attempting to dispense some soap from a bottle, it fell off what appeared to be an incompete fixture!

-The “knocking through” of the ground level foyer into the former “Studios” foyer is very effective, and the seating was well used with patrons looking very relaxed in their surroundings.

-The clock in the ground level foyer still appeared to be stuck.

Hopefully the famous ladies will be “flying in” to their splay wall positions soon—making it possible to attend a performance in a completed auditorium!

terry on January 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

From the article: –

“Practically perfect in every way?”, to borrow a line from cinema’s best-loved nanny. It’s not far off at all, although an inherent problem is that, from the back of the auditorium, the screen looks modestly sized at best……"

Of course, this was always the case in large theatres where the length of the auditorium far exceeded the width thereof and this was precisely why the Front Circle seats were always the most expensive.

Notwithstanding, I always found,once the lights had dimmed,that even in the upper reaches of the Rear Circle one’s eyes automatically adjusted to the sheet size and thus there was not really a problem.

Now, however, AMC , in their ultimate wisdom, have seen to it that the screen is permanently on view thereby providing Big Screen aficionados with the perfect opportunity to make unfavourable comparisons with cinema screens elsewhere….

terry on January 6, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Another article herewith forwarded to me by a friend who spent decades in the business:–


He asked my opinion and my response was :–

Re the mighty Odeon Leicester Square. As you look at the auditorium from the stage and see the new generously spaced and luxurious seating, the word ‘LUXURY’ shouts at us. However, looking at the proscenium from the circle another word bellows: ‘AUSTERITY’…..

FanaticalAboutOdeon on January 4, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Seems “Mary Poppins Returns” has done even better than expected at the Odeon and performances are indeed continuing, intermixed with some for “Stan and Ollie”. It was a late decision not to close from today apparently but whether the finishing work is going to be done overnight or whether there will still need to be a short closure later on remains to be seen. Given the numerous alternative venues for “MPR” in the West End and elsewhere, the sustained business at OLS suggests its facilities and the Dolby offer are scoring well despite the pricing regime.

moviebuff82 on January 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Looks like it’s quite popular among the fans overseas…here in rockaway Mary Poppins is still playing in Dolby for the next few weeks until Glass opens on the 18th.

Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell on January 4, 2019 at 1:35 pm

fascinating … i looked on the Odeon booking site and next week Mary Poppins continues at the OLS?

FanaticalAboutOdeon on January 3, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Did anyone notice that on the 21st December for the main evening performance, the cost of a ticket to the Royal Box was £70.75 for one night only and all twenty two seats therein were sold?

I sampled the Royal Box today – the last day of “Mary Poppins Returns” – and was very impressed by the image definition and perfect sound. I have invariably sat in the second row of the Royal Circle in the past and it remains, for me, the definitively best possible position for viewing a film anywhere. Now enhanced with huge and fully adjustable armchairs and, excuse the pun, virtually limitless legroom, this position in the Odeon remains my preference.

There is clearly much work to do during the next seven days. The lift is still to become operational (workmen were in attendance as the audience left) while most unfinished work appears to be in the auditorium where not a single cove was illuminated – only the eight downward curving sections at the base of each cove was lit (white) and the only other house lighting was from the downlighters set into the ceiling (some of which on audience left were not working). There was just about enough light to safely reach one’s seat. Predictably, the gold and blue “ODEON LEICESTER SQUARE – LUXE CINEMA” was projected on the screen though, oddly, in a wide angle ratio leaving blank margins on either side of the screen which was masked for ‘Scope ready for the feature.

One thing which I think will be greatly appreciated by many was the absence of the Digital Cinema Media adverts although there was no shortage of trailers and a demo/ad. for Dolby Cinema. I hope this situation will continue as, surely, the new pricing regime will more than compensate for the loss of advertising revenue.

The new clock in the foyer was stuck on 11.52 as I both entered and left – hope it’s not an omen!

Auditorium aside, the public spaces were very impressive and the glazed extension to the Circle Lounge with its commanding view of the Square provides a really special environment to eat, drink or simply relax before and after the film. Despite Poppins being shown everywhere and no longer brand new, there were dozens of people taking photo’s of the glittering façade from the Square and many more people than I expected in the Foyer Café and Oscar’s Bar. Eavesdropping, I only heard good things being said, a boy in a family group admiring the videos on the half landing between escalators exclaimed, “Wow, what an amazing cinema” while the lady of a couple who were my neighbours in the Royal Box, said as they were preparing to leave, “I’d see every film here if I could, wouldn’t you?” to her companion.

Adding some light and colour to the auditorium and, as Terry says, some beautiful and nicely lit curtains within the proscenium arch really will mean the “Golden Age” has returned. The appropriately golden nymphs will definitely be flying back to the splay walls after their refurbishment and a repair to one’s broken toe. Curtains are by no means unlikely as I believe live performances – of one sort or another – are on the list of revenue streams for the Odeon Theatre.

CF100 on January 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Kers: Thanks for the heads-up, looks like I’ll be able to sit in the Royal Circle for “free "thanks to Odeon’s complementary Gift Voucher following the cancellation of the first day of open to the public scheduled programming. (I also have another £25 Odeon Gift Voucher that was a Christmas present!)

LARGE_screen_format: The ticket prices vary depending on demand, FanaticalAboutOdeon has discussed the idea behind “flex” pricing and where it comes from. I don’t think this is an indication of Odeon “listening” to the “backlash,” which in any case is altogether too late now?

(i.e. The most serious problem as I saw it was launching with £40+ tickets which inevitably lead to dissemination of this as being the ticket price, rather than it being the highest priced seats under a high demand situation. It does not seem like a fantastic idea when the cinema has been closed for the best part of a year and needs to reestablish/expand business?)

HowardBHaas on January 2, 2019 at 3:58 pm

I am sure a movie theater will happily charge what the market can bear. Easy enough to see for reserved seat theaters if many customers were paying the prices, by checking online- esp over the weekend. As someone from the States there only once a year, I’d consider 20 & 25 lbs- if they use a curtain! I wouldn’t consider 40 lbs- that’s ridiculously too high.

LARGE_screen_format on January 2, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Interesting. Wonder how long those prices will be available for and whether the reductions had anything to do with the public backlash on social media etc?

It is better news for moviegoers and nice of Odeon to respond positively.

Kers on January 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Tickets now on sale for 4th-10th Jan for the Dolby Cinema Screen.
Royal Circle down to £25, centre stalls £20.

terry on January 2, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have to laugh at the latest branding gimmick, ‘Odeon Luxe’ which suggests luxury throughout. This is what people expect anyway these days so the term ‘luxe’ is quite superfluous.

In the article the MD of Odeon UK & Ireland says “It’s not just about the content, it’s about how you feel, the build-up of excitement …….“ etc etc

In that case, instead of having a digital image on screen saying ‘Odeon Luxe Leicester Square’ (or an image of the safety curtain), it would be infinitely preferable to have good quality house curtains ready to part – now THAT would provide the big build up!

One of the contributors here suggested that tabs may be installed during the forthcoming week’s closure. Well, the article made no reference to this (only the non original ‘flying ladies’ being reinstated) so I, for one, shall not be holding my breath!

If I turn out to be wrong I shall apologise here to AMC for ever doubting their integrity…………

Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell on January 2, 2019 at 6:29 am

I am surprised they are closing so soon when Mary Poppins is attracting nearly full houses having just attended a matinee recently.Mary Poppins is doing huge business Uk wide and Stan and Ollie IMO will not fall into that catagory.

HowardBHaas on January 2, 2019 at 6:25 am

this article says flying ladies back soon. Maybe that’s what’s to happen in Jan. https://www.screendaily.com/features/how-odeons-uk-and-ireland-chief-plans-to-transform-the-multiplex-experience-/5135466.article

CF100 on December 31, 2018 at 2:19 pm

A Happy New Year to all!

DavidZornig: Thanks for the link, interesting to see the foyer back then!

Looks like the OLS will close on the 3rd January 2019, reopening on the 11th with “Stan and Ollie” programmed for the main auditorium. (Marked as “Dolby Cinema Screen” on Odeon’s booking pages, but it’s certainly not listed as a Dolby Cinema “enhanced” release on Dolby’s site.)

DavidZornig on December 31, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Ah thanks. Didn’t see that there were separate Royal Film Performances in addition to the listed premieres.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 31, 2018 at 7:56 am

The Royal Fim Performance of “The Three Musketeers” on 25th March 1974 is listed in the Royal Film Performances section of the overview.

DavidZornig on December 30, 2018 at 10:08 pm

Ran across this 1974 premiere footage of “The Three Musketeers” at the Odeon Leicester Square, not listed among the premieres in the Overview.


LARGE_screen_format on December 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm

A short video on the opening of Odeon LUXE, Leicester Square.