Leicester Square, London
A nice shot of the Empire, showing the statue of Sir Charles Chaplin
in Leicester Square.
The pedestal reads: "THE COMIC GENIUS WHO GAVE PLEASURE TO SO MANY".
The arch ceramics.
This picture was taken in August 1991. What it unfortunately cannot
show is the glittering neon and bulbs, plus the looped messages announcing
featured films or coming attractions in "THX Sound System".
Occasionally, the Empire organizes Charity Premieres in presence of
the Prince and the late Princess of Wales. I took this picture in August
1991 where there was a gala premiere of Backdraft in 70 mm. The crowd is
waiting for Prince Charles and Lady Di to arrive.
William Baldwin, starring in Backdraft, is also attending the gala
at the Empire Charity Premiere in August 1991.
Staff costumes are no longer used today. A few of them, dating from
1928, are being kept in the general manager's office.
A view of the lobby right under the marquee.
The stairs in the entrance, leading to the sweets shop and all three
A view of the foyer, with toilets on the far left.
The TV screen mosaic between the two bars.
An alternate view of the lobby.
One of the two doorways leading to the Empire #1.
Side shot of the auditorium.
This picture clearly shows the multicoloured lamps of three primary
colours yellow, magenta and cyan which, when individually dimmed, allow
the creation of endless colour schemes.
Screen tabs being set for the largest projected aspect ratio: 1 x 2.20
on 70 mm films.
This picture is blurred but it shows the projection booth at the back
of the auditorium. You can see the surround speakers mounted flush with
the back and side walls.
Here, screen tabs are set for the smallest aspect ratio: 1 x 1.85 on
35 mm films.
The three Philips DP70 projectors. From left to right, serial numbers
are 1349, 1352 and 2125. Several years ago, new lamphouses were installed
to switch from carbon arcs to xenon bulbs. The two main projectors now
have Strong Ultra-80 lamphouses and the third projector (visible on the
foreground) has a Xenex lamphouse.
In 1995, the first projector on the left (Philips DP70 with serial
number 1349) was replaced by a new Kinoton FP30. Under the projector lamps
are the power rectifier units and barrels used in the water-cooling system.
The Kinoton ST270 platter system for 35/70 mm films. The control unit
is mounted on the wall, on the right.
The Spectra-Physics laser projector used for the laser show, and the
computer that controls it."
The ARRI Lighting System controlling the multicoloured auditorium light.
The remotely-controlled CD player for the laser show is visible on the
This picture shows the rack-mounted sound equipment in the projection
booth. On the left, the red/grey Dolby CP200 processor is easily recognizable.
The upper element isn't a magnetic pre-amplifier but the DA10 Dolby Digital
decoder. There are in fact two magnetic pre-amplifier units mounted together
in a shielded rack on the auditorium wall (not visible on the picture).
To the right of the CP200 are a CD player, a double-deck cassette player
and the THX 3417 unit. Under it is an available space that will be used
four months after this picture was taken to host the DTS-6D playback unit.
Overall rack space is mainly used by JBL power amplifiers for a total of
9,000 Watts. On the far left of the picture, the Christie AW3 platter system
Empire Theatre (The Show Place of The Nation) opened 17th April 1884,
taken over by MGM made into a 4,000 seater Cinema 70mm Todd-AO installed
in 1958 (approx) for "Ben Hur". The cinema was converted into two
screens in December 1967, former stalls is used as a night club venue.
The present seating capacity is 1495 seats. A Philips Duel 35/70mm
platter is on the left.
The sound system with Dolby CP200, 35/70 DTS, SDDS and Dolby
Digital sound formats.
3 Philips DP70's (one removed & replaced with Kinoton FP30 in 1997).
The screen size is 52ft wide for 70mm.
Special thanks to Lionel Fouillen and Ben Wales for the pics.