Leicester Square is the heart and home of British cinema, at the bottom of Wardour Street where cinema began in the UK, since Charles Urban set up Kinemacolor House in 1908 and, six years later, hosted 20 film companies including British Pathé – another twenty years and there were forty, welcoming Warner Brothers, J Arthur Rank, Hammer Film Productions and so many more.
By the 19th century, Leicester Square was known as an entertainment venue including Wyld’s Great Globe built for The Great Exhibition of 1851 and housed a giant scale map of the Earth. The Alhambra Theatre was built in 1854 on the east side of the square, dominating the site, reopening as the Alhambra Palace. It was demolished in 1936 and replaced by the Odeon Cinema. The Empire Theatre of Varieties opened in 1881 on the former site of Savile House, closing in 1927, to be replaced by the Empire Cinema. It became the natural home of cinema in the UK.
And just round the corner from Leicester Square is Bleeding Cool-favourite comic store Orbital Comics, which took over the old Photographer’s Gallery and used its length and gallery spaces to great effect. And gets a lot of footfall from folk on their way to Leicester Square.
But on the 8th of July, for one day only, Orbital Comics will actually be inside Leicester Square, creating a pop-up store in the Cineworld IMAX Leicester Square cinema, for the release of Spider-Man Homecoming, starring London’s own Tom Holland, and selling Spider-Man comics and graphic novels. Attendees will be able to get 10% discount on graphic novels with their cinema ticket.
A number of people have wondered why more comic shops don’t advertise in cinemas, especially when they are showing superhero movies. I think Orbital Comics has taken this one step further. Will others follow suit?
They really should have called it a Thwipp-Up Shop though, right?