Famous London cinema to become luxury hotel

A famous London cinema is on track to be transformed into a luxury hotel.

The Odeon West End cinema will become a Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel after being purchased by the privately-owned hotel group for an undisclosed sum.

Work on the development is likely to begin early next year, with planning permission now in place.

The hotel group says it will appoint a team of architects over the coming months and the site will be "treated with the utmost respect", to create something the city can be proud of.

The Odeon is known for its glamorous movie premieres, with countless international movie stars having walked its red carpet.

It was built as a theatre in 1930 and converted into a cinema in 1937 after it was bought by J. Arthur Rank.

Planning permission for the site allows for a 245-room hotel, 33 residential properties, a two-screen cinema and five restaurants on Leicester Square.

A director of the Edwardian Group, Robert Morley, says the hotel will be a landmark development for London and will be a "jewel in the crown" of the hotel group.

The Radisson Edwardian group now has 14 hotels in London, after going on a £200 million ($303 million) spending spree in recent months.