Cinema chain’s Brummie founder slogan “Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation” will adorn the front of the building

Ellis Williams Architects' proposals to refresh the Odeon Leicester Square

Proposals for a facelift at cinema chain Odeon’s flagship Leicester Square theatre have been approved by Westminster council.

The plans from Ellis Williams Architects include a structural glass first-floor extension to the art deco building’s lobby bar providing an additional 40m2 of space with views out over the square.

The cinema’s canopy will also be replaced, with its successor emblazoned with the illuminated words “Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation”, in a historical to reference to the slogan used by the Odeon chain’s Brummie founder, Oscar Deutsch.

Inside the cinema, a new internal glazed lift would be created in addition to other alterations.

Ellis Williams said the Odeon’s external advertising and signage would be “refined” with the paper billboard being removed – in a move the practice said would reduce the need for regular maintenance access from the space where the glazed-box bar expansion would be.

“With just one digital billboard each side of the glazed element, the building will present a more legible and balanced façade,” it said. “Furthermore the number of TV-sized digital posters will be reduced.”

The practice’s concept designs for the facelift show a new large digital screen above the bar extension.

Recommending the plans for councillors’ approval, Westminster planning officers said no objections had been received to the proposals, and that the Westminster Society actively supported them as an “important improvement” to the streetscape.

“The scheme reduces the amount of dead frontage and brings the various entrances and their signage into an order that complements the refurbished ground floor foyer,” they said.

“Overall, the proposals are welcomed as they are considered to preserve and enhance the character of the existing building as well as the character and appearance of the Leicester Square Conservation Area.”

Ellis Williams Architects' proposals to refresh the Odeon Leicester Square