Lighting Makeover for Iconic London Cinema: Case Study

IST Ltd has delivered an ambitious project to reinvent the outdated lighting scheme for an iconic cinema in Leicester Square, London.

Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, London, UK

The cinema has been subject to a number of reinventions since its opening as a West End variety theatre in 1884, the most recent being the redevelopment of Screen 1 into the impressive 728 seat IMAX screen and 400 seat IMPACT screen.

The concealed colour-changing neon lighting installed in 1988 has now been replaced with highly efficient LED RGB equivalents: 151 x Serenity Lighting® Prolix for the ceiling and wall ribs, powered by 28 x iDrive® Force 24.

For the stadium seating of the IMAX screen, 3 x iDrive® Thor 36 have been installed to power the RGB constant voltage LED lighting modules.  The subtle under-seat lighting installed under all 728 seats assists viewers to find their seats, without being blinded by glare.  The iDrive® Thor 36 centralised LED drivers, along with controls and touch screen, allow the recall of pre-set programmes to produce colour-changing, which in this case is synchronised with the colour changing of the Serenity® Prolix strips in the ceiling and wall ribs, creating a stunning uniform effect. The advanced control system supplied by IST Ltd on this project has enabled the client to create an extra special ambience for the worldwide premiers launched at its flagship Leicester Square location.

In addition to the colour changing LED products, IST Ltd supplied 52 x Serenity Lighting® Illuceo 30W fully dimmable house lights for both auditoriums, which were also powered from the 28 x iDrive® Force 24 LED drivers. The iDrive® Force 24 drivers enable true house light dimming in the auditorium, due to IST’s impressive worldwide patented 8 bit and 16 bit dimming technology, offering the smoothest dimming in the market place down to less than 0.01%.

An additional advantage of the centralised iDrive® Force 24 and Thor 36 LED drivers are the fact that they can be installed in rack-mounted units at a considerable distance (>200m) from the LED fixtures, allowing fast and easy access for any future programming updates or maintenance.

The overall impact has moved the lighting scheme into the 21st Century and creates one of the best experiences for cinema customers anywhere in the world.