Elstree Studios 90th anniversary marked with Borehamwood banners.
While the BBC ignored their 100th anniversary of the Neptune Studios, now BBC Elstree Centre, in 2014 – other than a small BBC News feature – the 90th anniversary of the Elstree Film Studios is being celebrated in style.
In the early part of the last century several movie studios operated in the Elstree and Borehamwood area in North London. However only two complexes which were once home to major British film production are still in operation, BBC Elstree and the Elstree Film and Television studios, with the latter celebrating 90 years of big screen productions at their site this year.
BBC Elstree was converted to television production-only between 1958 and 1961 under its first television owners, ATV Network. The Elstree Film Studios have had a more varied history, and several owners over the years with at one point it looking like the iconic production site may be closed and lost forever. Currently however creative production is booming for the Elstree Studios.
ATV Elstree, now BBC Elstree Centre, the only other remaining former movie studio left in Borehamwood. It was 100 in 2014.
To mark 90 years of service anyone visiting Borehamwood High Street, the home of Elstree Studios, will see that every lamppost is festooned with banners in celebration of nine decades of film and television being produced at the internationally famous studios.
Images of stars past and present include Alfred Hitchcock, Colin Firth, Claire Foy, Tess Daly, Claudia Winkleman, Paddington Bear, Simon Pegg and Bradley Walsh. Both sites are home to popular television programming, with BBC Elstree currently overseeing drama Holby City, soap EastEnders and annual fundraiser Children In Need. During its ATV years it was home to big budget drama and entertainment shows such as Edward VII, The Muppet Show, Saturday Variety and Family Fortunes. The former EMI studios are home to popular series such as The Chase, Strictly Come Dancing, Celebrity Big Brother and Grantchester.
With high end drama, feature films, tour rehearsals, commercials, reality shows and panel shows Elstree was across all genres the site in Borehamwood it looks like Elstree Studios will be celebrating many more busy years of production.
“Borehamwood and Elstree are proud of the Studios heritage and the importance to the area. It was after all the British Hollywood, the studios regeneration and success reflects the overall success of the UK film and television industry. The creative industries are a growth industry in the UK and we are world leaders. The college that we sponsor, the Elstree University Technical College, the vocational education school for Film Television and Theatre has over 360 students, that’s more than the National Film School and London Film School combined.” – Roger Morris, Managing Director of Elstree Studios