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Leicester Square information
Although Leicester Sq was very fashionable in the 19th century, more recent decades won it associations with antisocial behaviour, rampant pickpocketing, outrageous cinema ticket prices and the nickname 'Fester Square' during the 1979 Winter of Discontent strikes, when it was filled with refuse. As part of the Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympics celebrations, the square was given an extensive £15.5 million makeover to turn it once again into a lively plaza.
Today a sleek, open-plan design replaces the once-dingy little park. It retains its many cinemas and nightclubs, and as a glamorous premiere venue it still attracts celebrities and their spotters. The much beloved Shakespeare Fountain (1874) has been steam-cleaned and decorated with new water features.