The Shakespeare fountain and statue In the middle of the square is a small park that was originally available for common use on Lammas Day 12 Augustsuch as washing clothes and herding cattle. The Earl of Leicester was obliged to preserve these grounds, which were separated from the rest of the square with railings. Little maintenance was done and the garden deteriorated to the point of severe dilapidation.
History[ edit ] Farnie and described as a Grand Musical Spectacular, in three acts and seven tableaux. The corps de ballet for the performance was 50 strong.
Kate Vaughan starred in Around the World in 80 Days at the theatre in Inthe theatre reopened as a popular music hall named the Empire Theatre of Varieties. From tothe designer C. Wilhelm created both scenery and costumes for and sometimes produced numerous ballets at the theatre, which established a fashion for stage design and were much imitated.
Over the next few years, the theatre began to offer a programme of live performances with short film shows. Rebuilt as a Cinema[ edit ] As moving pictures grew in popularity in the s, the Empire was acquired for redevelopment by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayerwith its last live theatre performance Leicester square Lady Be Goodstarring Fred Astaire.
Most of the theatre was demolished inwith the Empire rebuilt as a film theatre on an expanded site with the auditorium block now extending East to Leicester Place; the architect was Thomas W.
Lamb with assistance from F. Boettcher and Frederick G. Parts of the Frank Verity designed exterior remain visible on the West side. Post-War Cine-Variety[ edit ] After the war, the stage accommodated programmes of cine-variety  —elaborate live shows, similar to those presented at the Radio City Music Hall.
For these, the American producer Nat Carlson, who had been responsible for shows at that venue, was hired, and its slogan, "The Showplace of the Nation," was adopted.
New Screen for Ben-Hur 70mm Presentation[ edit ] Inthe Empire installed new 70mm projectors and a new screen in front of the proscenium to show Ben-Hurwhich ran for 76 weeks.
Reconstruction as a Cinema and Dance Hall[ edit ] Following the long run of Ben-Hur, in the Empire was sold to Mecca and closed for internal reconstruction to create a new cinema for MGM and a dance hall for Mecca. The building was stripped out extensively, including the removal of existing partition walls and floors.
Almost all of the s ornate plasterwork was removed; two small sections remained, hidden behind false walls and ceilings  —one section now being behind the IMAX auditorium side wall. Wallis and Sons was the main contractor for the new cinema.
A new 1, seat auditorium was formed at circle level, on a suspended precast concrete floor over the former stalls underneath, with a circle section at the rear on a new stadium seating structure, and a flatter raked stalls section towards the screen end;  the auditorium had no stage facilities, and extended into the former stage house.
Its side walls and ceiling were finished with acoustic plaster tiles of mink and gold colours, featured banks of concealed colour-changing cold cathode lighting, and reclining red upholstered seating was fitted.
The auditorium would later be known as Empire 1 or Screen 1. The vestibule was subdivided with the cinema entrance on the left side, with a single staircase up to the grand foyer, its walls covered with white and black Italian marble, and a new grand foyer replaced the circle foyer, featuring a red coloured ceiling with several domes, lit with white concealed lighting.
In the former stalls, a Mecca Ballroom was constructed, with access from Leicester Square via the right half of the former cinema vestibule and stairs down to its sub-basement level.
Infollowing further substantial reconstruction and refurbishment, it re-opened as the Casino at the Empire,  which is now operated by Caesars Entertainment Group. Refurbishment[ edit ] InScreen 1 and the lobby areas were refurbished, with Esquisse Design as the architects.
The refurbishment included the application of grey spray paint to the tiles in Screen 1, which had the unintended consequence of negatively impacting the auditorium's acoustics.Visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square for last minute and discount theatre tickets for performances today, tomorrow and the next day.
Open 7 days a week. Q-Park Leicester Square is located just behind Leicester Square itself which makes this an ideal car park for film premieres. The facility is also a short walk away from West End Theatres, The National Gallery, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square.
On entering Leicester Square you will notice that it was packed with booths selling cheap theatre tickets. These places offer the opportunity to get last minute tickets for shows in the West End at reduced rates.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet.
The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. Victory House, MGallery by Sofitel, London Leicester Square is located in the square that never sleeps. Victory House boasts 86 art deco inspired rooms and suites, many of which afford unrivalled, front row views to London’s exclusive premieres.
Leicester Square (/ ˈ l ɛ s t ər / () LES-tər) is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. It was laid out in and is named after the contemporary Leicester House, itself named after Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester..
The square was originally a gentrified residential area, with tenants including Frederick, Prince of Wales and artists William Hogarth and Joshua.