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Empire, Leicester Sq., London

The 70mm Newsletter
Photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 09.05.2015
The magnificent Empire on Leicester Square in London, England. For many years one of the leading 70mm houses in England.

• Go to the gallery: Empire Cinema, Leicester Sq., London

• Go to the gallery: 70MM Cinemas in London's West End, September 1990

Send your memories of the EMPIRE to Thomas

Stefan Adler (Sweden): Raped by digital, slaughtered by Liemax...

Ben Wales (England): For me the Empire in the 1990's was a Mecca and a Shrine for Cinema and on the odd occasion had a private screening complete with pre Lazer Show a reel of 70mm.
More in 70mm reading:

Gallery: Empire Cinema, Leicester Sq., London

Visiting 70MM Cinemas of London's West End, September 1990

Dominion, London English Birthplace of Todd-AO

70mm Film Presentations in London, England 1958 - 2014

Internet link:

The big curved screen. 20 meters wide. Home of many 70mm premieres including "Far and Away", "Backdraft", "Black Rain", "Top Gun", "Brainstorm", "Ryan's Daughter", "Doctor Zhivago" and "Ben Hur". 

Martyn Coates (England): This is where I first saw "Gone With The Wind" 70mm version, (rather blurry pic of my original ticket stub! ) "Doctor Zhivago", "Goodbye Mr Chips" (musical)and "2001 - A Space Odyssey".

David Stickland (England): Saw Earthquake at The Empire in 70mm/Sensurround. A beautiful cinema butchered.

Martyn Coates (England): Yes, also saw "Earthquake" there, in a vibrating "Sensurround" seat! I think the only other film I saw in that "effects" format was "Rollercoaster", but not sure if it was at the Empire.
One of the most beautiful large cinemas of the modern age, the Empire Leicester Sq in all its colourful glory seen here in September 1990. The auditoria has since been split up into two cinemas. An IMAX in the screen end, back to back with an "Experience" Dolby Atmos cinemas in the other end.

Derek Young (England):
"Logans Run"
in 70mm at the Empire was one of the best presentations i have ever seen in a cinema.
Three DP70 projectors side by side in the spacious projection room.

Andy Summers, UK:

I saw "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" 70mm and "Star Trek" '89 70mm marathon all with the sonic delights of JBL THX sound system and many more 70mm and SR-D DTS shows. EMPIRE 1 was an impacting screen. Ilker Sherif, was kind enough to invite me into Empire 1 box 14th February 1992, after I saw first performance of the day "Star Trek VI", in 70mm Dolby Stereo SR SS (THX). I was wowed with the booth it looked like the bridge of the starship Enterprise. Ilker, offered Empire coffee and biblicists in the coffee room next to projection he, was a gentleman. We talked about his early days starting as projectionist and mine at UCI Tower Park, and even laughed when the coffee room floor vibrated when the "subwoofer track" come in on some effects with "Star Trek VI" that was one mighty tuned JBL sound power system THX certified, Empire 1 had.

Other films seen at Empire 1:

"Alive" Dolby SR-D (original THX)
"Cape Fear" Dolby SR (original THX)
"Timecop" DTS (original THX)
"Gladiator" Dolby SR-D (no THX)
"Transformers" Dolby SR-D (new THX)
"The Spy Who Loved Me" Dolby cinema digital (new THX)
"Toy Story" Dolby cinema digital 3d (threw the glasses away) (new THX)
"Star Trek" Dolby cinema digital
"Star Trek Into Darkness" (Dolby cinema digital, Atmos, 3D) (again threw away the glasses)
The Empire at night with neon lights.

My last visit to Empire 1, was 9th May 2013 "Star Trek Into Darkness". I knew after reading in Cinema Technology (on-line early 2013 issue) Empire 1, was doomed and just didn't believe Empire cinemas could do this to their own British and prideful flagship cinema. It is a sheer and utter disgrace.

• Go to the gallery: Empire Cinema, Leicester Sq., London

• Go to the gallery: 70MM Cinemas in London's West End, September 1990
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Updated 07-01-23