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Stages 2 and 3A and 3B and 5 at Ealing Studios

A Grade II Listed Building in Ealing, London

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Latitude: 51.5089 / 51°30'32"N

Longitude: -0.3077 / 0°18'27"W

OS Eastings: 517541

OS Northings: 180242

OS Grid: TQ175802

Mapcode National: GBR 72.R3M

Mapcode Global: VHGQW.MB6M

Plus Code: 9C3XGM5R+HW

Entry Name: Stages 2 and 3A and 3B and 5 at Ealing Studios

Listing Date: 26 June 2001

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1389249

English Heritage Legacy ID: 487884

ID on this website: 101389249

Location: Ealing, London, W5

County: London

District: Ealing

Electoral Ward/Division: Walpole

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Ealing

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Mary Ealing

Church of England Diocese: London

Tagged with: Building

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962/2/10058 Ealing Studios
26-JUN-01 (West side)
Stages 2, 3a, 3b, 5, Ealing Studios


Block of film studios and related offices and dressing rooms. 1931, 1934 by Robert Atkinson and Alexander Frederick Anderson, with adaptation c.1993. Brick and concrete construction with steel truss roofs. The plan comprises two large film studios, one of which can be subdivided into two if required, bound by dressing rooms and offices to north and south. The south block and Stage 2 date from 1931, stages 3a and 3b together with north block were added in 1934. A small sound studio was adapted as a meeting room and extra stage within the older shell in c.1993.

White rendered walls, metal casement windows and timber double doors. The interiors of the offices and dressing rooms not of special interest, although the corridor retains delightful signage from the 1930s-50s. The stages have exposed steel truss roofs and concrete block and brick walls, with lighting grids across their entire extent. Together they demonstrate the development of sound studios, large ground-floor spaces designed for maximum flexibility, and are included for their historic interest.

Ealing Film Studios are the most historic surviving film studios in England, both architecturally and for their associations with our film-making history. The first studios were erected here in 1908, Ealing being chosen for having the most smog-free environment close to London. In 1928 legislation demanding a `quota' of British films be shown in cinemas encouraged a revival and reorganisation of the film-making industry, and Basil Dean and Sir Gerald du Maurier in 1929 founded a company, Associated Talking Pictures with an American distributor, the Radio Keith Orpheum Corporation. The partnership of Atkinson and Anderson was brought in to rebuild the site with new studios between 1931 and 1934.

Ealing Studios' greatest importance, however, is for the films shown there. The site enjoyed a successful if unspectacular era under Dean, for it was here that most of Gracie Fields' and George Formby's most popular films were made. The most famous era, however, was that between 1938 and 1958, when Michael Balcon invested the films with a new social vision. His wartime films were notable for their good characterisation and plot, but it was in the post-war period that the sense of social mores truly came out, with `Passport to Pimlico' (1948), `Whisky Galore' (1948), `Kind Hearts and Coronets' (1949), `The Lavender Hill Mob' (1950), `The Titfield Thunderbolt' (1952) and `The Ladykillers' (1955). No other British studio has so strong a history or firm sense of its place as the maker of a distinctively English, indeed London, kind of film.

Architects' Journal, 16 December 1931
The Builder, 26 February 1932
Ealing Building Control Records, E6119
Paul Spencer-Longhurst, Robert Atkinson, 1989

Kinematograph Weekly, 4 October 1951
Ealing Local History Library, Ealing Studios Scrapbook, various dates
The British Journal of Photography, 30 January 1976, 12 March 1976, and 9 April 1976
Ealing Local History Library, The Story of Ealing Studios, nd
Charles Barr, Ealing Studios, 1977
Rachael Low, The History of the British Film 1929-39, Film Making in 1930s Britain, 1985

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