Lights go out at London's iconic Piccadilly Circus

Lights go out at London’s iconic Piccadilly Circus

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Elsötétültek ma a londoni Piccadilly Circus híres reklámtáblái. Vajon mi történhetett? 

Illuminations have been dimmed while billboards are replaced by a giant screen

They'll stay blacked out until the fall - for the first time since World War II

London (CNN)The world-famous lights at Piccadilly Circus in London have been switched off and will remain switched off for the longest period of time since the Second World War.

Lights on the six billboards went dark on Monday morning so the property company that owns the popular tourist site can replace them with a state-of-the-art single digital screen.

According to the owner, Land Securities, the 784-square-meter screen will be the largest in Europe and will retain the curved shape and patchwork appearance of the current lights.

When the lights go back on in the fall, they will be linked to a high-speed Wi-Fi network and be able to live-stream events from across the globe.

During the redevelopment work, the area will be covered by an advertising banner that won't change.

Piccadilly Circus has been known for its iconic advertising lights for more than a century and the site in the West End of London is a tourist hotspot. But on Monday morning they were turned off so the electronic billboards can be replaced with a huge state-of-the-art screen, due to be unveiled in the autumn.

The busy intersection in London's theatre district -- which sees millions of people pass through it each year - has been famous for its lights for more than a century.

The first illuminated lettering was attached to buildings there in the late 1890s, according to documents from the former London County Council.

Land Securities, which has owned the famous landmark since 1968, says the first illuminated advertising billboard was a Perrier sign erected in 1908.

Light bulbs were gradually replaced with neon lights, with the first digital projectors introduced in 1998.

The last time the lights were turned off for an extended period, during World War II, the aim was to hamper German bombers.

Since then, they've only been dimmed for brief periods -- such as occasional blackouts, and to mark the funerals of Winston Churchill in 1965 and Princess Diana in 1997.

The lights were blacked out during World War II but by the time this picture of American troops and their girlfriends was taken in 1955, the area was vibrantly-lit again.

Vasiliki Arvaniti, portfolio manager at Land Securities said in a statement Monday: "This is a huge day for Piccadilly lights and though it will be a strange feeling to see them go dark, we're incredibly excited about their future."

"There have been illuminated advertising signs at Piccadilly Circus for more than a century," he said, "and the new state-of-the-art screen we're installing will stay true to its tradition as a site for advertising innovation by offering brands pioneering new ways to connect to the 100 million people who pass by each year."

Facts about Piccadilly:

The name comes from the 17th century when Robert Baker built his mansion next to the area currently known as Piccadilly Circus. Since he made his fortune by selling ‘picadis’ (a certain type of collar fashionable at that time). Soon after the place was labelled as Picadil’s Hall and the name stuck to it.

The term circus derives from Latin and bears the meaning of ring or circular object rather than the now commonly known attraction with artists and clowns.

Some form of Coca Cola sign has been here since 1955 making the popular drink the longest accommodated brand 

Decide if the following statements are true or false:

1)     Today the Piccadilly lights went out due to serious blackouts in London.

2)     The new screen to be installed will retain its original form and will be able to broadcast live events from all over the world

3)     The current screen was installed in 1968

4)     During World War II the lights were switched off not to attract German bombers

5)     Piccadilly is a buzzing intersection and as such more than 100 million people pass here each year

Key

1. false

2. true

3. false

4. true

5. true

Vocabulary

illuminations

világítás

to dim

elsötétíteni, lekapcsolni

billboards

hirdetőtábla

fall

ősz

property

tulajdon

to retain

megtartani, megőrizni

redevelopment

áttervezés, átépítés

due to 

várható

to unveil

üzembe helyezni

intersection

csomópont, kereszteződés

erected

felállított

gradually

fokozatosan

to hamper

hátráltatni

blackout

áramkimaradás

funeral

temetés

huge

hatalmas, óriási

incredibly

hihetetlenül

to stay true

hűnek maradni

pioneering

úttörő

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