Cineworld Leicester Square: celebrating more than 100 years of movie magic

The richly glamorous and star-studded history of Cineworld Leicester Square possesses the sweep of the finest David Lean epic.

For more than 100 years, Cineworld's flagship West End cinema has played host to the British monarchy and Hollywood royalty, ranging from our late Queen Elizabeth II to Tom Cruise and beyond.

We're now inviting you to go even deeper in our revealing and dazzling behind-the-scenes video.

Our good friend, and host of What's On At Cineworld, Daniel J. Layton is here to walk you through the history of Cineworld Leicester Square – quite literally.

From the famous façade to the iconic staircase that has acted as the backdrop to many a movie premiere, Daniel gets beneath the fabric of the iconic building.

And he doesn't stop there. Moving inside the auditorium, he then outlines Leicester Square's continued capacity for technical excellence.

Want to find out why Cineworld Leicester Square remains the bastion of big-screen entertainment? Check out the video, sit back and soak up the multifaceted background of this premiere movie destination.

Cineworld Leicester Square has long been a home for the biggest movie premieres and eye-widening technical innovation. Let's head back in time and examine some images from the Cineworld archive that encapsulate the truly historic sweep of the cinema's lifespan.

Firstly, here is a shot of vintage ticket stubs from 1939's Gone With the Wind, the romantic masterpiece that distilled the spirit of Hollywood's Golden Age.

Gone With the Wind ticket stubs Empire Leicester Square cinema

Next, we have a Greta Garbo-themed movie program designed to celebrate one of the biggest names in early Hollywood. 

Greta Garbo program Empire Leicester Square cinema

Want more? Here are some other memorable episodes from Cineworld Leicester Square's history, which helped cement its reputation as the home of cinema in the West End.

Here's a shot steeped in cinematic history: a vintage Casablanca poster that adapts one of the movie's most famous lines ("Of all the gin joints in all the world").

Casablanca vintage movie poster Empire Leicester Square cinema

The cinema has long been the subject of rapt media attention. Here is a shot of an archive newspaper article that celebrates the cinema's 50th anniversary, anchored by an image of the luxurious Grand Foyer.

Newspaper article commemorating 50th anniversary of Empire Leicester Square cinema

A quick glimpse at the cinema's former interior makes one appreciate how much has changed in the intervening years. We can only imagine the timeless movies that played to enraptured audiences on that screen.

Empire Leicester Square cinema historic auditorium

Here's another image that expands on the gilded and captivating former interior. The staircase glimpsed in the photo has been traversed by many a celebrity throughout the years.

Former interior of Empire Leicester Square cinema

How's this for luxuriant? Here's a monochrome image of the former Promenade Bar, one of many distinguishing features from the former Empire.

Promenade Bar at the former Empire Leicester Square cinema

In 1996, Prince Charles unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the original building. A simple image like this helps us realise the breadth and range of the cinema's history.

Prince Charles commemorates anniversary of Empire Leicester Square cinema


Let's finish where we started by returning to a certain Tom Cruise. Here's a video reminder of our star-studded and spectacular Top Gun: Maverick Royal Premiere from earlier in the year.


Now, we want to hear from you. What are your most cherished memories of watching movies at Cineworld Leicester Square? Have you been lucky enough to attend a premiere there? And do you remember your formative movie experiences that may have occurred within its walls?

Tweet us @Cineworld with your nostalgic reminiscences.