On early Tube plans, the station was listed as Cranbourn Street, but the present name was used when the station was first opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway on 15 December 1906. Like other stations on the original sections of the Piccadilly and Northern lines, the station was originally constructed with lifts providing access to the platforms. The increase in passenger numbers in the 1920s as the Northern line was extended north (to Edgware) and south (to Morden) and the expected further increase from the 1930s extensions of the Piccadilly line led to the reconstruction of the station below ground in the early 1930s. New station entrances were constructed to a new sub-surface ticket hall.
On all four platforms, film sprockets are painted down the entire length and on the top and bottom of the display area (blue on the Piccadilly line platforms, and black on the Northern line platforms), due to the four premiere cinemas in Leicester Square. The station is featured briefly during the introductory video sequence of the 2009 film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Connections: Piccadilly Line. London Buses routes 14, 19, 24, 29, 38 and 176 and night routes N5, N20, N29, N38, N47 and N279 serve the station.