ODEON Luxe Leicester Square

As entertainment venues, cinemas are facing fierce competition on all fronts. Exceptional screening technology is ubiquitous, and home viewing via Netflix and Amazon is the new norm. When guests do choose to see a film on the big screen, their expectations go beyond fresh popcorn and a reclining seat. ODEON needed a creative partner to design a premium cinema brand to roll out in upgraded sites, as well as a differentiated guest experience that gives film fans new reasons to visit (that can’t be replicated at home).

Since the late 18th century, Leicester Square has been a centre for entertainment and a popular tourist attraction in London. ODEON Luxe Leicester Square is the brand’s pinnacle cinema experience, with delicious food and beverage options, premium seating, and the slickest technology to match.

20.20 Limited helped ODEON reinvent its guest experience by creating the ODEON Luxe (sub) brand. This premium proposition offers cinema goers a luxury alternative with more personal space, larger reclining seats, and an elevated food and drinks offer. As well as creating and designing the Luxe brand identity, 20.20 helped ODEON articulate the offer, ensuring that it could be implemented across European markets.

Since opening in 1937, ODEON Luxe Leicester Square has been a world-renowned icon in cinema, hosting over 500 film premieres attended by everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Marilyn Monroe. ODEON wanted to restore and uplift its iconic art-deco flagship to create an immersive guest experience at every touch point. Collaboratively with ODEON and Ellis Williams Architects, 20.20 designed and created a future-forward cinema with the brand's rich heritage at its heart.

ODEON Luxe Leicester Square is the UK’s first Dolby CinemaTM, combining ODEON Luxe decadence with state-of-the-art screening technology to create a pinnacle cinema experience, while ensuring the new proposition touches every experience touchpoint, from the Royal Box to the bathrooms. The venue captures the elegance of the 1930’s across signature spaces, including retail, foyer, and Oscar’s Bar. Its rich history and compelling stories are uncovered and brought to life through interiors, graphics, and digital design.

To make the cinema experience that extra bit special, Oscar’s Bar was created to elevate the food and drink offer. Oscar’s Bar is a high-end bar concept for ODEON Luxe sites, celebrating the brand’s founder. This contemporary space reflects the new Luxe proposition and engages guests with the story of ODEON while enjoying a drink before the show. This elegant and social space enriches ODEON’s premium menu of refreshments and celebrates a panoramic view over Leicester Square.

The glory of the golden age is reclaimed in the main auditorium with a digital incarnation of the original, hand-painted safety curtain. To announce the grand reopening of this historic cinema, a multimedia launch campaign was also designed to get London Town locals and tourists talking.

On 20 December 2018, London’s iconic ODEON Luxe Leicester Square cinema reopened after a 12-month total renovation. ODEON Luxe Leicester Square has been transformed into one of Europe’s most advanced cinemas and is a premium destination for tourists, families, and locals. Oscar’s Bar successfully attracts guests to arrive early for a drink before the show. ODEON Luxe is rolled out across the UK and Europe and has won several sector awards. ODEON now has 24 European Luxe sites with plans of further expansion.

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

Project Partners:

20.20 was in charge of setting the design for the public spaces, brand communication, and storytelling, working alongside:

  • GF Holdings: Project Management and Fit-Out
  • EWA: Auditorium, Project & Implementation Architect
  • Kate & Sam: Lighting Consultant

View additional submissions in the Alternative Premium Seating Product or Space category for ALSD Spotlight 2019.

Strategy and Development Director
20.20 Limited
Photo Credit: 
Paul Williamson