London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
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The Palm House at Kew
Absorbing official film by the Ministry of Works showing the careful restoration of the corroded 1848 Palm House in Kew Gardens in 1956.
Documentary 1957 22 mins
From the collection of:
The Palm House in Kew Botanical Gardens was built in 1848 but by the 1950s the iron structure was in poor condition because of bomb damage, humidity and use of insecticides. The building was closed to the public. This film show the careful restoration of the Palm House, with much technical information and attention to detail. Includes excellent shots of the damaged iron structure before restoration, as well as the work in progress and triumphant reopening.
Amateur film 1941 5 mins Silent Location: Kew
Rare wartime colour film shows Kew Gardens in full bloom while visitors of all ages stroll past or relax on the sunlit lawns.
Amateur film 1936 20 mins Silent Location: Brentford
Enjoy a nostalgic trip down river with members of the St Faith community - with tea at Kew, feeding penguins at London Zoo and lots of chatter - all in sign language!
Amateur film 1955 8 mins Silent Location: Richmond
Join the Torrens family as they cram in as many sights as possible in their short trip to London - taking in Windsor Castle, Kew Gardens, the Tower of London and polar bears
Travelogue 1949 11 mins Location: Kew
A picturesque look at the attractions in Surrey, including Kew Gardens, Wimbledon and Guildford
1944 17 mins Silent Location: Kew
A peek behind the scenes at Kew Gardens in the 1940s, courtesy of the ever-eccentric Secrets of Life series
1965 31 mins Location: London
A beat musician shoots up on camera in this straight-talking 1965 film about recreational drug use.
Documentary 2019 16 mins
Three years after their father passed, a family of four women come together through a series of phone calls spanning over three months.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
Music video 2019 8 mins
A conceptual film following musical artist Jords’ quest to serendipity. The Tree of Life’ is the cornerstone of the film as he battles to triumph through grief.
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