Leicester Square LESS-ter) is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. It was laid out in 1670 and is named after the contemporary Leicester House, itself named after Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester.
The square was originally a gentrified residential area, with tenants including Frederick, Prince of Wales and artists William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds. It became more down-market in the late 18th century as Leicester House was demolished and retail developments took place, becoming a centre for entertainment. Several major theatres were established in the 19th century, which were converted to cinemas towards the middle of the next. Leicester Square holds a number of nationally important cinemas such as the Odeon Leicester Square, Empire, Leicester Square and the now closed Odeon West End, which are frequently used for film premieres, The nearby Prince Charles Cinema is popular for showing cult films and marathon film runs. The square remains a popular tourist attraction, including hosting events for the Chinese New Year.
Copyright: CC 3.0