CLIENT: Rank Group Plc
AGENCY: Wolff Olins
PROJECT: Rebrand Odeon's flagship cinema
The Odeon in Leicester Square is the largest single screen cinema in UK and the brand's flagship. It regularly hosts film premieres as well as the annual Royal Film Performance. Last refurbished in 1980, this iconic building was very tired, lacking any of the excitement of its early years, and as a result rapidly losing customers to the multiplexes and independent cinemas.
To celebrate Odeon’s heritage and to reintroduce a long lost sense of glamour. To make the experience of visiting the cinema as exciting as watching the film itself.
In its most basic form, cinematic film is simply projected light. So the design was developed based on the theme of light. This idea allowed us to build on Odeon’s unique heritage, using projected and ambient light to highlight the sculptural art deco interior - the brand name projected in white light above the screen. All the materials - from the glass in the sweeping staircase, the edge-lit signs to the reflective decals - are brought to life with light.
To reintroduce a sense of Leicester Square’s former fun and glamour, the auditorium seats were upholstered in leopard print fabric, as they had previously been in 1937 when the cinema first opened.
And to give the public the chance to see the film stars and join in the fun of the premieres, the exterior was opened up to include a new balcony. The stars are photographed standing behind the Odeon letters making Odeon Leicester Square synonymous with the best crowd drawing premieres.