Visiting the Prince Charles Cinema in London's West End
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The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Thomas Hauerslev
The Prince Charles Cinema, just off Leicester Sq in 7 Leicester Place,
seats in the downstairs 70mm cinema. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev
As most of London's great cinemas all have been closed or demolished, it is
pleasing to find one, which still runs 70mm from time to time. With the
exception of the grand Odeon
across the square, and the BFI Southbank (formerly the NFT), and newcomer Picturehouse Central
(screen 1), about two
minutes' walk away from Leicester Square, all London's classic
70MM cinemas are gone.
Once upon a time, nearly 20 of London's West end cinemas showed film in
large format 70mm. London used to be the center of "70mm World", and was the
favourite travel destination to many film and
In the fall of 2015, the Prince Charles Cinema in London
projectors, to be able to play 70mm prints again. Since then, I have
followed, read and seen a lot about the 70mm screenings at the Prince
Charles. I get regular e-mails about "What's on in 70mm" which I add
to the "Now showing in 70mm in a
theatre near you!" page. I never visited the cinema in the '80s or '90
as they rarely showed any films in 70mm - at least not while I was in
London on vacation.
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Gallery: Prince Charles Cinema, London's
West End, UK
70mm Returns to the Prince
Presentations in London, England 1958 - 2016
Visiting 70MM Cinemas of
London's West End, September 1990
"What's On" with Udo Heimansberg
The Prince Charles Cinema
Att: Paul Vickery
7 Leicester Place
London, WC2H 7BY
8 and "Star Trek II" in 7OMM. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev
In September 2016, I wrote an e-mail to the PCC asking for permission to
come and see the cinema, and take some pictures for in70mm.com. Head of
programming, Paul Vickery kindly gave me access to the cinema any time I
would see fit during our 4-days London visit. He even gave us two free
tickets to the 70mm performance of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan".
While my wife was off shopping in Oxford Street I went to the PCC, was
invited in and given the complete tour by the staff. The staff was very
helpful with the light in the main auditorium, so I could take my pictures.
Go to the gallery Prince Charles Cinema,
London's West End, UK
It was a very nostalgic evening, to see "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
in authentic 6-track Dolby Stereo. The 70mm print - one of two - premiered
July 22, 1982 just around the corner at the Plaza and
ABC Shaftsbury Avenue.
The soundtrack played very loud - which I liked, and the surrounds played
very well too. The quality of magnetic sound is still the best in my ears,
despite all kinds of modern digital multi channel sound wonders - analogue
6-track magnetic Dolby Stereo has yet to be surpassed. There is so much
fidelity, and transparency in the sound, like I have not yet heard in a
Vickery, head programmer of the Prince Charles Cinema. Picture by Thomas
I was amazed to see how the cinema started to fill up before the 70mm show
began. I'd say it was almost sold out, and I asked afterwards if that was
normal, or a special evening of some kind, which we accidentally
experienced. I was told it was quite normal to have 70mm shows sold out,
which is also why the PCC schedule several screenings of the same title over
The Prince Charles Cinema have many posters on display on their facade, many
of which are of their own design. The tag "Presented in 7OMM 6 Track
Dolby Stereo" is prominently placed with BIG letters on the posters.
It is very nice to see this kind of showmanship still being used to promote
70mm in London. Take a look at their web site too - search for "70mm", and
you can see the same logos and advertising. If you are in London, do check
out their web site and go back to memory lane for some 70mm magic.
Many thanks to the Prince Charles Cinema for their enthusiasm.
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