There can be no doubt that Leicester Square needed a make over. Despite being the go to location for just about every major UK film premiere, and despite being dominated by the art deco splendour of the Odeon cinema, the square itself was run down, scruffy and down right seedy. Now, there is not too much wrong with seedy, it does tend to go hand in hand with areas of entertainment like the Square, but the powers that be obviously decided that something needed to be done and in December 2010 work commenced on a complete revamp.
As Dylan Thomas once said “time passes”, and I found myself wandering and wondering thorough the square. Wandering because that’s what I do and wondering, not for the first time, if it would ever be finished. The hoardings declared “Your New Leicester Square, Opening April 2012“. I’m no expert but given that there were only four days of showery April remaining and a considerable amount of work still ongoing , that date seemed a little optimistic.
Finally, three weeks into May, it has happened. The hoardings are down and no doubt the crowds, encouraged by the warm weather, are already filling the space, leaving their litter and scrawling their names on the freshly hewn granite but hey, that’s life.
I haven’t yet seen the finished product, but I suspect that when I do I’m going to find it just a little too clinical but not to worry, it’ll soon gain the patina of the masses and will eventually reacquire that touch of seediness that it really needs to become London’s premiere entertainment district. Enjoy!
All photographs, except the banner and the Odeon, predate December 2010.