PLANS REVEALED FOR FORMER FILM LAB
Plans revealed for historic former home of Denham Film Laboratories
Weston Homes has acquired the famous Denham Film Laboratories, originally part of Denham Film Studios.
The Grade II listed Art Deco main laboratory and head office building was built in 1936 and designed by Walter Gropius for film producer Alexander Korda.
That and the surrounding 11.94 acre site is to be transformed to create a new development called the Denham Film Studios.
It will comprise 224 converted and newly-built homes, designed around garden squares, landscaped grounds, water features, private gardens and protected woodland.
And the new development will retain the cinema – used to screen movies to Hollywood directors including Stanley Kubrick, Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Steven Spielberg – which will be refurbished and turned into a cinema theatre and club for residents.
Movie themed public artwork is planned for the grounds with large format plates of glass (each around 1.6 metres high by 4 metres long) etched with scenes from the famous movies produced at the studios.
And, subject to the necessary consents, streets within the development will be named after movies, film directors and actors/ actresses who worked at the film studios over the decades.
Denham Film Studios and its main laboratories building played a central role in Hollywood and British movie making for almost 80 years.
In 1939 the film studios and laboratories were acquired by the Rank Organisation, which owned Pinewood Film Studios in neighbouring Iver Heath.
The Rank Organisation focused all film laboratory work at Denham, but the adjacent studio lots were closed in 1952 in favour of operations at Pinewood.
In its heyday the laboratory was the largest and most advanced outside of Hollywood, producing more than 500 million feet of film per year on site, with completed films distributed to cinemas around the world.
During the 1930s more than 1,200 people were employed at Denham and even into the late 1970s there were some 700 employees at the complex.
Films produced and edited on site include: Brief Encounter, The Great Escape, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Tomorrow Never Dies, ET, Superman 1,2 & 3, GoldenEye, War Horse, Eyes Wide Shut, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.
How the laboratory could look. Below and right, the complex in its heyday