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Leicester Square

Source: R Sones

Copyright: Creative Commons 2.0

Leicester Square LES-tər) is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. It was laid out in 1670 as Leicester Fields, which was named after the recently built Leicester House, itself named for Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester.

The square was originally a gentrified residential area, with tenants including Frederick, Prince of Wales and the 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 built in the 19th century, which were converted to cinemas towards the middle of the next. Leicester Square holds a number of nationally significant cinemas such as the Odeon Leicester Square, Empire, Leicester Square, which are often used for film premieres . The nearby Prince Charles Cinema is known for its screenings of cult films and marathon film runs. The square remains a tourist attraction which hosts events, including for the Chinese New Year.



Copyright: Creative Commons 3.0

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Westminster, United Kingdom

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