Pinewood’s big birth­day

...The home of Carry On hits 80.

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Qasim Per­acha qasim.per­acha@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @qasim­per­acha

PINEWOOD Stu­dios is cel­e­brat­ing its 80th an­niver­sary, hav­ing opened for busi­ness on Septem­ber 30, 1936.

The stu­dios, based in Iver, has been re­spon­si­ble for some of the big­gest movies ever, in­clud­ing Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens, Aliens, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Su­per­man and the Da Vinci Code.

It is per­haps best known, how­ever, for its mega-fran­chises James Bond, Carry On and Harry Pot­ter.

Based at a Vic­to­rian man­sion called Heat-her­den Hall the site was owned by Col. Grant Mor­den who was MP for Brent­ford and Chiswick at the time. It was the site for the ne­go­ti­a­tion and sign­ing of the Ar­ti­cles of Agree­ment for a Treaty Be­tween Great Bri­tain and Ire­land in 1921, bet­ter known as the An­glo-Ir­ish Treaty. This is the treaty that de­clared Ire­land to be a Free State. The stu­dio also had a huge role to play in The Sec­ond World War. As well as be­ing req­ui­si­tioned for use by the Crown Film Unit, the Army Film and Pho­to­graphic Unit, RAF Film Unit, the Pol­ish Air Force Film Unit for the mak­ing of pro­pa­ganda and news films, Lloyd’s of Lon­don and The Royal Mint used the stu­dio’s stages as their of­fices.

The mod­ern stu­dio com­plex is now made up of 20 stages, with the big­gest and most fa­mous be­ing the 59,000 sq ft, 007 Stage. Orig­i­nally built for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

The 007 Stage burnt to the ground in 1984 and re­opened in Jan­uary 1985 with the new name, “Al­bert R. Broc­coli 007 Stage”, in time for film­ing of A View to a Kill.

An­other fire oc­curred in July 2006 just af­ter pro­duc­tion ended on the Bond film Casino Royale. The fire-dam­aged stage was de­mol­ished in Septem­ber and con­struc­tion on the new stage was com­pleted in un­der six months.

Pinewood also has an un­der­wa­ter stage – the only one of it’s king in Europe. It mea­sures an in­cred­i­ble 240 x 60 ft and is al­ways filled and main­tained. It has fea­tured in movies like The Da Vinci Code and Ba­sic In­stinct 2.

The stu­dio is no­to­ri­ously se­cre­tive about what is be­ing filmed there at the time and its nearly im­pos­si­ble for a

mem­ber of the public to get in­side the stu­dios. In fact dur­ing film­ing of Star Wars Episode VIII the stu­dios were de­bat­ing shoot­ing down spy drones that des­per­ate fans were send­ing in to cap­ture scenes from the up­com­ing film.

There is a long stand­ing con­spir­acy the­ory that the 1969 moon land­ings were fake, with many sug­gest­ing that the footage was shot at Pinewood by the late great Stan­ley Kubrick.

Most re­cently a deal has been bro­kered for the multi-mil­lion pound sale of the com­pany that owns Pinewood Stu­dios.

The Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FCA) has gave the go-ahead for a deal which would see Lon­don based as­set man­age­ment busi­ness Aer­mont Cap­i­tal LLP ac­quire the Iver Heath based stu­dios for £323

Clas­sics: Sean Con­nery poses with the Bond Girls of Goldfin­ger. Be­low, Roger Moore and Tony Cur­tis fight on the set of The Per­suaders!

On the road: The skele­ton from One of our Di­nosaurs is Miss­ing be­ing trans­ported from Pinewood. Be­low, the stu­dio in 1970

Stars: Sean Con­nery and Honor Black­man on the set of Goldfin­ger

Toot sweets: Dick Van Dyke and Peter Usti­nov film­ing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The be­gin­ning: : The great and the good gather for the open­ing of Pinewood Stu­dios on Septem­ber 30, 1936.

On set: Film­ing of The Spy Who Loved Me

Team: The stars of the Carry On films

PIC­TURES: KEY­STONE/HUL­TON ARCHIVE / GETTY IM­AGES/ MIR­ROR PIX/ FOX PHO­TOS

Golden mo­ment: Shirley Ea­ton dur­ing her iconic scene in Goldfin­ger. In­set above, Michael Caine as cock­ney spy Harry Palmer came face to face with the Brain at Pinewood in 1967. In­set top, Bond stars at the open­ing of the re­built 007 stage in 1985

Cel­e­bra­tion: Char­lie Chap­lin cel­e­brates his 77th birth­day on set at Pinewood where he is mak­ing a new film Count­ess from Hong Kong in April 1966

Ac­tion: J Arthur Rank chats with Bert Easy, the head of the Pinewood Stu­dios Cam­era Depart­ment in 1946. Be­low, Work­ers lay down sound­proof­ing ma­te­rial dur­ing con­struc­tion in 1936

On the run: Charles Hawtrey dur­ing the film­ing of Carry on Teacher in 1959. Left, Au­drey Hep­burn with hus­band Mel Fer­rer at Pinewood in 1955

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