Film Studios

Film 35Mm Vintage Projector Antique Movie

In the 1930s and’40s there were many studios turning out movies to satisfy the hunger for the movies. Regrettably, many have gone along with the sites used for different functions, such as housing estates. Elstree was the home to some of Studios. They included the Gate Studios, now long gone. Still there, are what was the Associated British Picture Corporation Studios, now just called Elstree Studios. Many big films have been made there, including Star Wars. A good deal of TV material is now shot there. Also standing across the street from Elstree Studios is the old ATV Studios, which years before had been the Rock Studios, run by American Joe Rock. These are now used by the BBC for programs such as Eastenders and Casualty. There was a large MGM Studio at nearby Boehamwood, where many great British pictures were shot. Margaret Rutherford in the Miss Marple films were photographed there. This was called MGM British Studios.

In Ealing in West London there is still the Studio which is famed for several George Formby, Gracie Fields movies, as well as the famed forties and fifties comedies, such as The Lavender Hill Mob and some serious dramas, such as It Never Rains on Sunday and The Cruel Sea. Many of the comedies were taken by the late Douglas Slocombe OBE. The Studios were taken over by the BBC in 1956. Ealing productions were then made at MGM for around two decades, still bearing the Ealing name, before Ealing was wound up. One of the Ealing films made at MGM was The Man in the Sky, starring British actor Jack Hawkins. Ealing Studios was sold from the BBC and is still used for productions in addition to film training. Bray Studios was home to the famed Hammer Films, many of them being at the horror genre and starring the late British actor Peter Cushing. At one stage they were owned by the Samuelson group. They were famous for equipment hire. Denham Studios which functioned from 1936-1952 was founded by Alexander Korda. The Studio was demolished in 1981. There is still Pinewood and Shepperton turning out excellent material. Pinewood is home to the James Bond films and the Carry On films were shot there. There was a small Studio called Nettlefold at Walton Upon Thames, turning out low budget material, including television productions such as Robin Hood, starring the late British actor Richard Greene.

In Merton Park they filmed the Edgar Lustgarten Scotland Yard films and the Edgar Wallace shorts. This was shot with a gramophone turntable. There was Beaconsfield Studios that became the National Film School, and Riverside Studios. There was also Lime Grove Studios in Shepherds Bush, west London. This had been the Gaumont British Studios, where Alfred Hitchcock shot some of The Thirty Nine Steps. Some Studios have been completely demolished. These include MGM, which is now a housing estate and Lime Grove.

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