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Goodby Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square
Skyfall Premiere Royal Albert Hall

“Think on your sins...”
The Royal World Charity premiere of Skyfall at London's Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday October 23, 2012 was the culmination of a year of events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of James Bond as a cinematic icon. Skyfall also marked the longest gap between films without a change of actor in the lead role up to that point. With the exception of Albert Finney (who plays Kincade), all the leading players in Skyfall were in attendance at the premiere. Like Die Another Day which also had its premiere at the Royal Albert Hall a decade earlier, Skyfall was similarly graced with the presence of a number of James Bond alumni including Sir Christopher Lee (Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun), Colin Salmon (Charles Robinson in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day), Minnie Driver (Irina in GoldenEye), five-time James Bond director John Glen, Stunt co-ordinator & 2nd unit director Vic Armstrong, and special effects supervisor Chris Corbould. In addition to the behind-the-scenes talent in attendance were four-time Miss Moneypenny, Samantha Bond, and a quartet of former Bond Girls dating back to the very first James Bond film. Eunice Gayson (Sylvia Trench in Dr. No and From Russia With Love), Shirley Eaton (Jill Masterson in Goldfinger), Maryam d'Abo (Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights) and Caterina Murino (Solange in Casino Royale) all appeared on the red carpet before joining the 5000+ attendees inside the historic concert hall in South Kensington.

Skyfall Odeon Leicester Square

Skyfall then transferred to the Odeon Leicester Square from Wednesday October 24, 2012, where it played for six weeks; and opened at 587 cinemas across the country on Friday October 26th, going on to take a staggering £102-million at the box office to then become the highest-grossing film of all time in the UK. In addition to the general release quad-crown posters, a series of alternate versions celebrating the critical and commercial success were also displayed across the country in late 2012. Skyfall also played for eight weeks at the Odeon Marble Arch from Friday October 26 - Thursday December 20, 2012.

Skyfall BFI IMAX

Skyfall also opened at the BFI IMAX cinema at Waterloo on Friday October 26, 2012 where it played for three weeks on the largest screen in the UK. Skyfall was shot with the Arri Alexa M digital camera and the version screened at the BFI IMAX was formatted to the 1:90:1 aspect ratio. IMAX worked with the filmmakers in the post-production process to increase the aspect ratio and designed the IMAX presentation to allow audiences to see up to 26% more of the originally captured image than was seen in the conventional 2:40:1 general release version. Although Skyfall's posters all bore the text ‘in IMAX’ this was misleading as the film was not shot using IMAX cameras but merely reformatted for projection to utilise the larger screen area. The BFI IMAX presentation and worldwide IMAX screenings were the only time Skyfall has been seen theatrically in this format, and all other screenings showcased the film in the traditional widescreen aspect ratio of 2:40:1. Although the composition of some shots is noticeably different, the IMAX version more accurately reflected what was originally captured by Academy Award nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Skyfall IMAX comparison

“Bond is Back at the PCC”
The Prince Charles Cinema (PCC) is an independent repertory venue located in Leicester Place, 40 metres north of Leicester Square in the West End of London. The PCC originally opened as a live theatre on December 26, 1962 and became a full-time cinema in 1965. In June 1967 Casino Royale played at the PCC for four weeks following its initial West End engagement at the Odeon Leicester Square. The PCC did not screen another James Bond film until they programmed GoldenEye (1995) in May/June 1996. Currently showing a rotating eclectic programme of arthouse and classic films alongside recent Hollywood releases, the cinema has achieved cult status over the years and often uses the canopy above its front doors to display messages and obscure comments in addition to advertising the films on show. The PCC was converted to a twin screen cinema in December 2008 with seating for 302 in the former stalls, which has a screen measuring 21.5 feet wide by 11.5 feet high, and a 104-seat screen in the former circle. The Prince Charles found its niche as a repertory cinema and is the only remaining independent venue in London's West End. The cinema has retained its film projectors, which allows for regular screenings of 70mm prints, as well as 35mm and digital presentations. The PCC famously also plays host to sing-along screenings, film festivals and frequently programmes themed film seasons. In recent years the Prince Charles has become home to anniversary screenings and all-night marathons of the James Bond films.

007 Retrospective at the Prince Charles Cinema 2015

In January 2015 the Prince Charles Cinema showed every James Bond film from Dr. No to Skyfall in what was easily their most ambitious season yet. Thanks to distributor Park Circus, the PCC managed to secure every single James Bond film for a one-off screening on consecutive Sunday nights starting with Dr. No on January 4, 2015. All films were shown in their newly restored 4K DCP format and the retrospective also included Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983). The PCC had hoped to screen the entire series in chronological order but Goldfinger (1964) was screened out of sequence due to the new 4K digital restoration receiving its premiere at the 65th Berlin film festival on February 7, 2015. Goldfinger therefore screened at the PCC on Sunday April 5th, the week after For Your Eyes Only (1981). Composer David Arnold was also interviewed on stage before the screening of Casino Royale (2006) on Sunday June 14th. The six-month 007 retrospective concluded with Skyfall (2012) which shown at 8.15pm on Sunday June 28, 2015.

Spectre publicity 2015

“The Dead Are Alive”
On November 15, 2013 Danjaq LLC, the producer of the James Bond films, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the long-time distributor of the Bond films, announced they had had acquired all rights and interests relating to James Bond from the estate of the late Kevin McClory (1924-2006). It therefore came as little surprise when on December 4th it was revealed that the title of the 24th James Bond film would be Spectre, and the international crime organisation headed by Ernst Stavro Blofeld could now be reintroduced into the cinematic timeline. Within days of this news came the announcement that the screenplay for the new Bond film was amongst material stolen and illegally made public by hackers who infiltrated the Sony Pictures Entertainment computer system.

Spectre Odeon Leicester Square

Empire Design once again provided the rather uninspired photographic advertising campaign, with teaser posters appearing in the London Underground and on buses in the weeks leading up to the release. The Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre was on display in the foyer of the Odeon Leicester Square from Sunday September 27th until Monday October 5th, and then joined by the Jaguar C-X75 driven by Hinx (Dave Bautista) in front of the Royal Albert Hall for the World Premiere.

Spectre World Premiere Royal Albert Hall

Spectre was the third James Bond film to premiere as a Royal Film Performance after Die Another Day (2002) and Casino Royale (2006). Proceeds from the evening supported the Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund. The World Premiere of Spectre was held once more at the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington on Monday October 26, 2015 in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. In attendance were Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Naomie Harris, Christoph Waltz, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Stephanie Sigman, Jesper Christensen, Rory Kinnear, Director Sam Mendes, Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and ‘Writing's on the Wall’ singer/co-writer Sam Smith. Maryam d'Abo who played Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights (1987) also attended, as did three-time James Bond title singer Dame Shirley Bassey.

Spectre BFI IMAX

Spectre was also the first film to open simultaneously on the same night as the premiere across the UK and Ireland and had an even a wider release than its predecessor; playing in 647 cinemas (including 40 IMAX screens), compared to Skyfall's 587 locations and 21 IMAX screens. The BFI IMAX at Waterloo was one of the venues showing the reformatted version of Spectre from Monday October 26th, which like Skyfall was only screened in this version at selected IMAX cinemas worldwide. Spectre had the biggest opening in UK box office history taking £6.3-million on its Monday debut, and an estimated £41.7-million from the 2,500 screens where it played in the first seven days of release.

Controversially, ticket prices to see Spectre were significantly higher than those charged for other films, with Londoner's paying almost £10 more at the Odeon Leicester Square where the film played for the rest of its West End run.

Prince Charles Cinema James Bond all-nighter

“Nobody Does It Better”
Two years after its ground-breaking 25-film 007 retrospective, the Prince Charles Cinema programmed a James Bond All-Nighter featuring one film from each of the six actors who have played 007. The marathon began with Goldfinger (1964) at 9.00pm on Saturday January 28, 2017; followed by On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), The Living Daylights (1987), GoldenEye (1995) and Casino Royale (2006) which started at 8.20am on Sunday January 29th for those who were still awake!

On May 23, 2017 came the sad news that much-loved seven-time James Bond actor Roger Moore had died at his home in Switzerland at the age of 89. A week later a double-bill of two of his best James Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and For Your Eyes Only (1981) were re-released in selected Odeon cinemas in the UK and other venues worldwide. The newly restored 4K versions of the films were screened for one night only on Wednesday May 31, 2017 as a tribute to the actor, with 50% of all proceeds benefiting UNICEF. As a Goodwill Ambassador, Sir Roger had been a dedicated and passionate supporter of UNICEF since 1991.

The Spy Who Loved Me/For Your Eyes Only advert blocks - Prince Charles Cinema James Bond marathon

The first James Bond All-Nighter at the Prince Charles Cinema had been a sell-out success and the same line-up of six films was then repeated starting at 9.00pm on Saturday July 29, 2017.

Casino Royale in Concert”
On Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1, 2017, eleven years after its West End premiere, Daniel Craig's debut film as James Bond was screened at The Royal Albert Hall, with its score performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Greenaway. This marked the first time an entire James Bond score had ever officially been performed live, with David Arnold’s powerful score in sync with the film on the big screen. The composer discussed his collaboration with the 007 franchise in an on-stage Question and Answer session before each of the performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm each day, and played guitar on ‘The James Bond Theme’ that closes the film. The sell-out performances were presented as part of the Royal Albert Hall's ‘Films in Concert’ series which had begun in 2009 with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Casino Royale in Concert 2017

“Happy Anniversary 007!”
At 6.10 pm on Tuesday November 21, 2017 the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place hosted a 40th Anniversary screening of the 1977 classic The Spy Who Loved Me. Roger Moore's third James Bond film had originally premiered a few hundred yards away at the Odeon Leicester Square on Thursday July 7, 1977.

Goldfinger NFT Big Screen Classics season 2018

As part of their ‘Big Screen Classics’ season the BFI Southbank programmed Goldfinger (1964) which was screened five times during March 2018. The performance on Saturday March 10th took place in the 138-seat NFT3; whilst all other screenings were in the 38-seat Studio. Opened in 2007 the NFT Studio is the smallest of the four screens at the BFI complex on London's South Bank.

The Prince Charles Cinema screened From Russia With Love at 6.00pm on Wednesday December 26, 2018 to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the Sean Connery classic. Four further anniversary screenings followed in 2019. Licence To Kill was screened at 6.10pm and 9.00pm on Friday June 14, 2019 to celebrate its 30th Anniversary, with a further performance at 8.50pm on Sunday July 14th. Moonraker had its 40th Anniversary screening at 8.45pm on Thursday June 27th; with Goldfinger having its 55th Anniversary commemorated at 8.45pm on Wednesday July 17, 2019. Two months later on Sunday September 29, 2019 the National Film Theatre celebrated three anniversaries ahead of ‘Global James Bond Day’, with their own triple-bill of 007 adventures all screened in the 450-seat NFT1.

Before the 50th Anniversary screening of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) comedian and writer David Walliams presented a Q&A with one-time 007 George Lazenby. Aston Martin also displayed their new DBS Superleggera Special Edition, and also a heritage Aston Martin DBS (the same model as seen in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) outside the Light Box entrance in Theatre Avenue from 12noon until 6.00pm. Before the 40th Anniversary screening of Moonraker there was a discussion with five-time James Bond composer David Arnold, who also introduced the 20th Anniversary screening of The World Is Not Enough (1999) which concluded the celebrations at 8.00pm.

James Bond Day National Film Theatre 2019

Skyfall in Concert”
The Royal Albert Hall saw the return of James Bond in October 2019 with the World Premiere of ‘Skyfall in Concert’. Thomas Newman’s BAFTA award-winning original score was performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in sync to the picture, with his brother David as conductor. Skyfall was screened at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday October 4, 2019; and again at the same times on Saturday October 5th, which was also ‘Global James Bond Day’, marking 57 years since the release of Dr. No in 1962. The same day also saw the release of the first teaser poster for the new James Bond film No Time To Die.

Skyfall in Concert 2019

Rounding off 2019 were three more anniversary screenings at the Prince Charles Cinema. The World Is Not Enough screened at 8.45pm on Tuesday November 26th, which was closer to the actual 20th anniversary of its European premiere than the event at the National Film Theatre two months earlier. The screening of On Her Majesty's Secret Service which took place at 3.10pm on Thursday December 19, 2019, was just one day later than its World Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in 1969 50 years earlier. Similarly the screening of The Man With The Golden Gun at 3.10pm on Friday December 20th, was also one day later than its debut at the Odeon Leicester Square 45 years before. Repeat screenings of both films took place at 3.25pm on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th December 2019.


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