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Timelapse of the modern clock at the west entrance of Leicester Square. Swiss style bells underneath clock and an art deco building in the background. 18 seconds
More about Trafalgar Square –
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west. The park at the centre of the Square is bound by Cranbourn Street, to the north; Leicester Street, to the east; Irving Street, to the south; and a section of road designated simply as Leicester Square, to the west. It is within the City of Westminster, and about equal distances (about 400 yards or 370 metres) north of Trafalgar Square, east of Piccadilly Circus, west of Covent Garden, and south of Cambridge Circus.
In the middle of the Square is a small park, in the centre of which is a 19th-century statue of William Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins. The four corner gates of the park had one bust each, depicting Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist; Sir Joshua Reynolds, the first President of the Royal Academy; John Hunter, a pioneer of surgery; and William Hogarth, the painter. The most recent addition was a statue of film star and director Charlie Chaplin. On the pavement were inscribed the distances in miles to countries of the former British Empire. After the refurbishment of the square, which lasted from December 2010 to May 2012, only the statue of Shakespeare still remains on the square today.
Leicester Square is the centre of London’s cinema land, and one of the signs marking the Square bears the legend “Theatreland”. It is claimed that the Square contains the cinema with the largest screen and the cinema with the most seats (over 1,600). The square is the prime location in London for world leading film premières and co-hosts the London Film Festival each year. Similar to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, the square was surrounded by floor mounted plaques with film stars’ names and cast handprints. During the 2010-2012 refurbishment, nearly all of the plaques were removed except for a few on the Vue West End cinema doorsteps.
The Square is also the home for TKTS, formerly known as the Official London Half-Price Theatre Ticket Booth. This booth is jointly operated by TKTS and LondonTown.com. Tickets for theatre performances taking place around the West End that day are sold from the booth for about half the usual price. The popularity of the booth has given rise to many other booths and stores around the Square that advertise half-price tickets for West End shows. It is claimed that at least some of these booths operate fraudulently. Despite having names like ‘Official Half-Price Ticket Booth’, they are not official and they do not always advertise the booking fees which commonly come with purchasing tickets.
The Square is home to several nightclubs, making it often very busy, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.