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London cinemas and an Open Day at Ealing Studios

Relive over 70 years of film making as the BBC throws open its doors at Ealing Studios for a nostalgic exhibition which features cameras, actors, jazzy wigs and a Dalek

Amateur film 1989 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


We start with visits to two North London cinemas; the Odeon in Barnet and East Finchley's Phoenix. Here we see projection equipment before moving to Ealing Studios where the BBC has put on a exhibition. Visitors attend a studio recording of a period drama, look at a variety of vintage and modern cameras and visit the wardrobe department. The control panel of Dr Who's Tardis is seen in action while outside BBC staff demonstrate various cameras used in outside broadcasting.

Between the 1950s and 1990s Alan Stingemore made a considerable number of films covering a wide variety of subjects with an emphasis on railways and cinemas in particular. His films often capture memorable events as in this film, which was made when the BBC occupied the famous Ealing Studios. Film-making has taken place on the site since the White Lodge, the two-storey building seen in the film which was also the home of Michael Balcon, was purchased by Will Barker in 1902. The BBC took over the site from 1955 to 1995 when it was sold for £1 to the National Film & Television School. Large budget feature films and television programmes, like Downton Abbey, are still made there.