Beds, Herts & Bucks

Elstree Studios celebrate 100 years of film

Elstree Studios Image copyright Courtesy of The Elstree Project
Image caption The first studio to open in Elstree was Neptune Studios in 1914 which is now a site used by the BBC

One hundred years of film-making at Elstree Studios is being celebrated in a new documentary.

From Borehamwood to Hollywood, made by The Elstree Project, features interviews with movie legends who used the Hertfordshire studios, including Steven Spielberg and Sir Roger Moore.

Films such as Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Dam Busters and The King's Speech were all filmed there.

TV shows recorded at the site include Strictly Come Dancing and Big Brother.

The Elstree Project is a partnership between the University of Hertfordshire and Elstree Screen Heritage which has collected oral accounts of working at the site from directors, actors and crew in order to preserve the studios' history.

The documentary will have a special screening at the university on Thursday.

Image copyright Courtesy of The Elstree Project
Image caption British International Pictures opened in 1926 and is the current site of Elstree Studios
Image copyright Courtesy of The Elstree Project
Image caption The first British talking picture, Blackmail, was made there by Alfred Hitchcock
Image copyright Courtesy of The Elstree Project
Image caption The first multi-lingual film production, Atlantic (1929) was filmed there as well as Elstree Calling (1930) which was reputedly the first British musical film
Image copyright Courtesy of The Elstree Project
Image caption The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), filmed at British and Dominions’ Imperial Studios, was the first Elstree film to win an Oscar but the building burned down in 1936
Image copyright Aerofilms
Image caption MGM Studios had a 100-acre backlot in Borehamwood used for films including Where Eagles Dare, Ivanhoe, The Dirty Dozen and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the site has since been demolished
Image copyright ATV / ITC Entertainment
Image caption Lew Grade owned the Neptune site in the 1960s and converted it into a TV studio for ATV where The Muppet Show was made in the late 1970s
Image copyright Lucas Film
Image caption The Indiana Jones trilogy starring Harrison Ford, created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, was made at studios in the 1980s and there is still a stage named after Lucas at the site
Image copyright Lucas Film
Image caption George Lucas filmed the original Star Wars trilogy at Elstree rather than a galaxy far, far away
Image copyright Courtesy of the Elstree Project
Image caption In 2015 the BBC will celebrate 30 years in Borehamwood at the BBC Elstree Centre, where it films EastEnders and Holby City

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