Iconic Odeon to reopen as UK's first Dolby Cinema experience

This artist’s rendition shows how the new Odeon will look once the scaffolding comes off. (Odeon)
This artist’s rendition shows how the new Odeon will look once the scaffolding comes off. (Odeon)

The Odeon on London’s Leicester Square is getting a huge multi-million pound makeover.

Arguably the UK’s most famous movie theatre, this cathedral of cinema is set to reopen this Christmas where it will become the first UK site to boast Dolby Cinema – “a cutting-edge audio visual experience like no other”.

The historic venue, which will reopen as the ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, has played host to some of the biggest nights in British movie history since opening in 1937 including countless royal galas, over 700 premieres, and the UK premieres of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Spy Who Loved Me, and all the Harry Potter films.

The famous two-tiered main screen – now the VIP Luxe screen – has reduced its seat count from 1,679 to just 800 luxury seats, including over 350 powered Luxe recliners offering extensive legroom, and personal tray tables.

ODEON Luxe Leicester Square interior (Odeon)
ODEON Luxe Leicester Square interior (Odeon)

Screens 2-5 at the venue have also received full refurbishments.

According to the press blurb, Dolby Cinema boasts “a spectacular, leading-edge visual experience through the Dolby Vision dual laser projection system and moving audio which fills the cinema and flows all around you with Dolby Atmos”.

This is welcome news for anyone who saw a film in the old Odeon, which had a reputation for weak, and often echoey, audio. ODEON Luxe Leicester Square is the first Dolby Cinema to open in the UK following a deal announced in June 2018 by Odeon Cinemas Group and Dolby Laboratories to bring 7 new Dolby Cinemas to ODEON in the UK.

The renovated cinema also includes an ornate new interior, with restored heritage features, and new glass-fronted Oscar’s cocktail bar create world’s most sophisticated cinema for Hollywood stars and film fans.

The Odeon’s new cocktail bar looks pretty swanky (Odeon)
The Odeon’s new cocktail bar looks pretty swanky (Odeon)

Mark Way, President AMC Europe & Managing Director Odeon Cinemas Group, said: “For more than eight decades, ODEON Leicester Square has stood tall in the heart of London as the capital’s home of the premiere.

“Our stunning Luxe refurbishment takes this prestigious reputation to the next level, reinventing one of the most iconic cinemas in the world. With the combination of Luxe recliners and Dolby Cinema, no other cinema will offer this level of luxury and technology.

“Quite simply, ODEON Luxe Leicester Square will be the best movie experience available – an unrivalled luxury cinema that will proudly set the standard for generations to come. We’re very excited to reveal our plans to reopen for Christmas so guests can experience everything that the reborn ODEON Luxe Leicester Square will offer.”

How much an average ticket for the new ODEON will cost has yet to be confirmed. A ticket to see A Star Is Born in the ODEON Luxe Haymarket will currently set you back £16.75 as an adult. We expect to pay a premium to see a film in these deluxe new surroundings.

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