Many people consider Hollywood or studios in Los Angeles to be the home of film production, locations across the cities playing host to many blockbusters in the making.
However Britain still has a big slice of the movie pie, with many iconic films featuring historic British buildings or picture prefect city and country landscapes.
With all eyes on London throughout the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, we thought we would remind the world why London was already in the world’s eye by listing some of our favourite London film locations.
Whilst the area in South East London may not be particularly glamorous and, what with all the concrete tower blocks standing tall and grey against the equally murky Thames, the almost dystopian feel to the area is exactly why Stanley Kubrick chose Thamesmead as the location for the futuristic 70’s cult classic, A Clockwork Orange. The area is pretty much exactly the same as it was over 40 years ago; you can still pick out the Flat Block Marina by the artificial Southmere Lake, alongside which Alex and his droogs cause mischief and mayhem.
Duke of Albany Pub, SE14
Another slightly grimey area of South London, another box office hit! This abandoned pub, formally a favourite among Millwall supporters, provided the setting for the Shaun of the Dead pub, the Winchester. Still recognisable for its red telephone box, the pub and a great deal of its Monson Road location were filled with brain sucking zombies!
Acton Lane Power Station, W4
This abandoned (and now partly demolished) West London power station provided the industrial backdrop to both Alien, the 1979 Ridley Scott Science Fiction horror, and Aliens, the 1989 James Cameron sequel. Most specifically, the Alien egg chamber scenes were built in the power station. The station was also used as Ace’s chemical plant in the 1989 Batman film.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, WC2
Like Shaun of the Dead, Run Fatboy Run was also created by Simon Pegg. Pegg, who also stars in the films, pays homage to his acting routes, showcases London’s biggest theatre, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, as he buys he son London theatre tickets to see the stage production of Lord of the Rings.
Senate House, WC1
Despite their American setting, both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises were filmed in the University of London Library, Senate House. In Batman Begins, the first of the trilogy starring Christian Bale, Senate House is used to portray the lobby of a court room. However in The Dark Night Rises, the regal setting is used as a backdrop to a costume ball. Senate house has also been used as a set in the film 1984 as the Ministry of Truth, as the CIA headquarters in Spy Game and has featured in the TV series Doctor Who.
Portobello Market, W11
Long before the making of the 1999 blockbuster Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, tourists were flocking to Portobello Market in the Notting Hill area for the antiques and fresh food. However following the success of the film, tourists now flock to hotels in Notting Hill especially to see the sights (the market, the blue door, the travel book shop) that have now reached iconic status.
Borough Market, SE1
Another market favoured by movie makers! Borough Market has been immortalised in several massive films, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) in which the gangs hide out is situated directly across from the market. The famous stalls can also be seen as Bridget Jones ambles home after presumably buying market produce to concoct her famous blue soup in Bridget Jones’ Dairy (2001). The Entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the Harry Potter Films was also created in Borough market, as was the car chase scene in Entrapment, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Kings Cross Rail Station, N1C
Already featured in the 1955 film The Ladykillers and a Pet Shop Boys music video, Kings Cross rail station was made famous by the Harry Potter books and films as the home of platform 9 ¾ , the starting destination for the magical Hogwarts Express. Tourists can still visit the area where the film was shot and the station has embraced its iconic status by installing a 9 ¾ platform sign as well as welding a luggage trolley into the wall to make it look as if it is disappearing to the secret platform.
If you are planning a trip to visit to see London’s famous film sets, then check out www.tubehotels.com advice on where to stay.