It’s A Wrap Twickenham Film Studios Goes Bust

The Beatles

Twickenham Film Studios, founded in 1913 and used for The recent production of Oscar nominated films  My Week with Marilyn,the Iron Lady and War Horse as well as both of the Beatles films Help and A Hard Day’s Night has gone into administration. Classics like Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Alfie starring Michael Caine and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning also made use of its facilities.

The world famous studio, was due to celebrate its centenary next year, will be wound up between now and June. Gerald Krasner,the accountants handling the administration, said the the business had lost money over the past three years. “I doubt it will be retained as a film studio,” he said. Half of the 17 employees have already left. The remainder are working their notice, Mr Krasner added. “We are selling it on,” “Everyone will then be paid in full.”

The site was a former ice rink and was opened as St Margaret’s Studios in 1913 by Dr Ralph Jupp. It was the largest studio in the UK at the time, re-named Twickenham Film Studios in 1929 by its then-owners Julius Hagen and Leslie Hiscott. Twickenham Studios was built on the site of a former ice-rink in The Barons, St Margarets, in 1913, by Dr Ralph Jupp and was the largest studio in the UK at the time.In 1929, the studio was renamed Twickenham Film Studios, following the new ownership under Julius Hagen and Leslie Hiscott. In 1935, a fire destroyed the studio building, taking with it the entire contents of the camera and sound departments and claiming 15 years of work by the studio’s stills photographer, Cyril Stanborough. Further destruction was caused by a bomb blast in 1939.During the 70s and 80s, Twickenham Studios continued to do well so it was decided to expand the facilities. The success has grown over the past few decades, with a new sound centre opening in 1980. More recently the studio has been involved in projects such as Shanghai, Sleuth and Elizabeth the Golden Age. The old viewing theatre and wardrobe department was also used for recent film, My Week with Marilyn, based on diary entries of Colin Clark, who worked as an assistant director on the Prince and the Showgirl  where he met Marilyn Monroe.

Numerous films have been made at Twickenham since the end of Hagen’s tenure including Carol Reed’s The Stars Look Down in 1939, In the 1960s classic films such as Alfie starring Michael Caine, The Italian Job in 1969 with Noel Coward, Roman Polanski’s first English language film in 1965 Repulsion; Be My Guest in 1965, featured Jerry Lee Lewis an early appearance by the young actor Steve Marriott and The Nashville Teens. In 1969, The Beatles used the studios while rehearsing music for their album Let It Be. A film was made of some of the sessions, and both the film and the album were released in 1970. The Beatles had previously used Twickenham for their films A Hard Day’s Night and Help! and for their promotional film for Hey Jude. In the 1980s, the studio was used for The Mirror Crack’d, An American Werewolf in London, A Fish Called Wanda, Blade Runner, and Brother Sun, Sister Moon. Later films include The Others, Layer Cake, The Crucible, Interview with the Vampire, and Sweet Revenge.

It is a very sad day when a big name British studio ceases to trade, but I don’t quite understand how Twickenham with three current Oscar nominated films, The Iron Lady, War Horse and My Week With Marilyn can go under. They stated that they lost money over the last 3 years when these big productions were underway. Surely the studio was popular. This is a great loss to the industry and a cause that needs the Government to step in before the developers build luxury flats on the property. It should be grade 1 listed!!!!! Where is the UK film council when we need them?

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