This is a collaborative post with Evan Tyler, all thoughts and views my own
I think it’s an understatement when I tell people how much I love Leicester Square. It really is my home away from home, and my most favourite location in the whole of London with no comparison. It holds countless memories for me, I have camped out in the square overnight for film premieres and met some of the world’s greatest actors and directors there. It is forever changing and adding new and exciting things from cinemas to restaurants, so I thought that I would share some amazing things to do in Leicester Square…
Leicester Square is packed with wall-to-wall cinemas. Specifically, there are three major cinematic venues inside the square itself, with a discount cinema just north of the main area. The three major ones are The Odeon Luxe Leicester Square, The Empire (Cineworld Cinema), and Vue West End. The slightly cheaper option is the Prince Charles Cinema, a lovely, intimate place that consistently offers tickets at a considerable discount. Basically, if you are looking to catch a film in London’s West End – whether it be a new box office release or a vintage film brought back to the big screen at a discount – Leicester Square is the place to go.
2.) Statue Of William Shakespeare
You simply cannot miss a glimpse of this if you visit Leicester Square, but anyone with an interest in the arts or literary history ought to take a closer look. The statue of William Shakespeare has been the centrepiece of Leicester Square Gardens since its construction in 1874, and was restored earlier this decade. This famous marble tribute is surrounded by dolphins and elevated on a pedestal in the center of a magnificent fountain. In this sculpture, Shakespeare is holding a scroll with a popular quote from his legendary play Twelfth Night. This monument is just one of the ways that Shakespeare is still honoured within Soho.
3. Meeting the Stars
As mentioned before, I have done my fair share of red carpet events whilst living in London. Some I attended just as a spectator and others I was lucky enough to see the film too. My most memorable events have both been Star Trek related. Into Darkness saw me camping out to get a prime spot in the front row- mainly to watch Benedict Cumberbath get out of his car which certainly was worth it, along with an autograph from JJ Abrams. More recently, I found myself at the Star Trek Beyond premiere in the press tent, where I interviewed Chris pine before going in to see the movie. Again, just a totally awesome day.
4.) Hippodrome Casino
The Hippodrome, situated on the very corner of Leicester Square, is the largest and most popular casino in the UK, offering over 100 slots, 45 table games as well as sites just for bingo and interactive experiences. Speaking of experiences, the Hippodrome is currently the venue hosting Magic Mike Live shows, and of course my ticket was bought as soon as they announced the dates. Last year my sister and I went to see the show on opening week, and boy did it take me back to the first time I watched Magic Mike in a tiny cinema in Los Angeles. Seeing the show live is so fun and totally perfect for a night out with your bestie!
5.) London Film Festival
Finally, let’s not forget the annual London Film Festival. It’s held in Leicester Square every October and is sponsored by the BFI. Founded in 1953, the festival showcases more than 300 films, documentaries, and shorts from nearly 50 countries and features films that would not otherwise get a UK screening. World premiere showings at the BFI London Film Festival are also accompanied by fancy galas that have also become elite, red carpet events. If you are as much of a film buff as me, you probably have your time booked off work already, but if not it may be worth scheduling your next trip to London around this once-a-year event.
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