• Ealing Studios

    Dates: 1902 – present

    Named after the London borough in which it was situated, Ealing Studios has been at the centre of the British Film Industry since 1902 and as such, it’s the oldest film studio in the world.

    Unfortunately the studio management is unable to allow tours of the site at this time.

    History of Ealing Studios

    18????The White Lodge on Ealing Green is built – a two storey brick building with white render.

    1896?Will Barker started making films as an amateur, using a Lumiere Brothers camera. He turned professional in 1901 and started making films on an open-air stage at Stamford Hill, London (2)

    1902?Will Barker bought two properties facing Ealing Green: West Lodge (which had nearly four acres of grounds) and The Lodge. He began with a series of lavish historical dramas, all filmed outdoors. (2)

    1907?Barker constructs the first covered stage at Ealing; a glass construction. Three such stages were built at Ealing. (2)

    1910?Barker makes one of the first screen versions of Hamlet, all shot in one day. The sets were built inside one another and as each set was finished with, it was stripped away to reveal another behind it. The film cost a total of £180, but returned a profit of £600.

    1920?Following the First World War, Barker decided to retire from the industry, and Ealing Studios were sold to General Film Renters, who leased them out.

    1929?As talkies arrive in Britain, the studios were bought by Union Studios, who re-equipped the run-down studios for the talkes at a cost of £250,000. Unfortunately the company went into receivership soon after when the planned for income never materialised.

    1931?Basil Dean extends the studio for his company Associated Talking Pictures (ATP). He took established stage acts such as George Formby and Gracie Fields and launched their movie careers.
    The iconic White House Lodge is remodelled into offices for the company, by architect Robert Atkinson.
    Construction began in March 1931 of the first two of the planned four stages:

    • Stage 1 (1,972 sqft.)
    • Stage 2 (9,576 sqft.)

    November 1931 – A modest opening ceremony was held. As the paintwork and plasterwork was just drying on the new stages, Dean went into produciton of Nine Till SixI.

    1934?More construction:

    • Stage 3A
    • Stage 3B – both stages were paired, each giving 6,035 sqft.)

    1938?Basil Dean’s attempts to produce serious dramatic films failed, so he gave up on the movie business and returned to his first love, the theatre. He was replaced by Michael Balcon, a producer who’d helped Alfred Hitchcock to success at Gainsborough Pictures in the mid 1920s. He decided to rename the production company Ealing Studios.

    1944?Basil Dean’s construction plan was completed with:

    • Model Stage (4,819 sqft.) for special effects work

    1947?The golden era of Ealing Studios begins with the production of Hue and Cry.

    1955?The BBC buys the studios and spent the next 40 years creating television classics such as Colditz, The Singing Detective and Monty Python on site.

    1995?The 3.8 acre site and studios are bought by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) for £2.6million, with the intention of moving their operation from Beaconsfield to a more central site at Ealing. However, it was soon decided that the school would refurbish and re-equip the Beaconsfield facility.

    1995-1999?Independent production companies hire the studios from the NFTS, under the name NFTS Ealing Studios.

    1999?The NFTS decides to sell the studio. Local press reports stated that although none of the studio buildings (including the iconic White House lodge) are listed, the local council wanted to see film / TV production continue on the site, and not to simply demolish the studio and use the site for far more lucrative housing developments.

    2000?The studios were acquired by the current owners.

    2001?The White House lodge building is listed by English Heritage. [Link]

    2002?Plans are drawn up for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the studio.

    2007?The Met Film School moves to Ealing Studios and begins to run a two year BA in Filmmaking. (it formerly ran short and weekend courses).

    2010?The Met Film School establishes an MA in Filmmaking.


    • 1) Link
    • 2) Forever Ealing by George Perry

    Productions shot at Ealing Studios

    Feature Film (35)

    Johnny English Reborn2011Oliver ParkerIMDB Database page about Johnny English Reborn
    The Iron Lady2011Phyllida LloydIMDB Database page about The Iron Lady
    Make-up tests were carried out at Ealing Studios in the pre-production period.
    Burke and Hare2010John LandisIMDB Database page about Burke and Hare
    Centurion2010Neil MarshallIMDB Database page about Centurion
    Dorian Gray2009Oliver ParkerIMDB Database page about Dorian Gray
    Attic scenes and underground tunnel and platform scenes were shot at Ealing.
    From Time To Time2009Julian FellowesIMDB Database page about From Time To Time
    The Descent: Part 22009Jon HarrisIMDB Database page about The Descent: Part 2
    Easy Virtue2008Stephan ElliottIMDB Database page about Easy Virtue
    The Bank Job2008Roger DonaldsonIMDB Database page about The Bank Job
    St Trinians2007Oliver Parker, Barnaby ThompsonIMDB Database page about St Trinians
    Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason2004Beeban KidronIMDB Database page about Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
    Interior of Bridget's flat
    Shaun of the Dead2004Edgar WrightIMDB Database page about Shaun of the Dead
    Troy2004Wolfgang PetersenIMDB Database page about Troy
    Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets2002Chris ColumbusIMDB Database page about Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
    Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack Of The Clones2002George LucasIMDB Database page about Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack Of The Clones
    The Importance of Being Earnest2002Oliver ParkerIMDB Database page about The Importance of Being Earnest
    Guest House Paradiso1999Adrian EdmondsonIMDB Database page about Guest House Paradiso
    Notting Hill1999Roger MichellIMDB Database page about Notting Hill
    Casino Royale1966Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, Richard TalmadgeIMDB Database page about Casino Royale
    Barnacle Bill1957Charles FrendIMDB Database page about Barnacle Bill
    The Ladykillers1955Alexander MackendrickIMDB Database page about The Ladykillers
    The Titfield Thunderbolt1953Charles CrichtonIMDB Database page about The Titfield Thunderbolt
    The Lavender Hill Mob1951Charles CrichtonIMDB Database page about The Lavender Hill Mob
    The Man in the White Suit1951Alexander MackendrickIMDB Database page about The Man in the White Suit
    Kind Hearts and Coronets1949Robert HamerIMDB Database page about Kind Hearts and Coronets
    Passport to Pimlico1949Henry CorneliusIMDB Database page about Passport to Pimlico
    Whisky Galore!1949Alexander MackendrickIMDB Database page about Whisky Galore!
    Against the Wind1948Charles CrichtonIMDB Database page about Against the Wind
    Hue and Cry1947Charles CrichtonIMDB Database page about Hue and Cry
    Fiddlers Three1944Harry WattIMDB Database page about Fiddlers Three
    The Halfway House1944Basil DeardenIMDB Database page about The Halfway House
    Nine Men1943Harry WattIMDB Database page about Nine Men
    Ships with Wings1941Sergei NolbandovIMDB Database page about Ships with Wings
    The Eternal Strife / Jane Shore1915Bert Haldane, F. Martin ThorntonIMDB Database page about The Eternal Strife / Jane Shore
    Hamlet1910William G.B. BarkerIMDB Database page about Hamlet

    Short Film (1)

    Henry VIII1911Louis N. ParkerIMDB Database page about Henry VIII

    TV Series (5)

    Downton Abbey2010 - 2012Julian FellowesIMDB Database page about Downton Abbey
    Servants Quarters filmed at Ealing Studios
    Cranford2007Sue Birtwistle, Susie ConklinIMDB Database page about Cranford
    The Assembly Rooms scenes were shot at Ealing Studios.
    Spaced1999-2001Edgar WrightIMDB Database page about Spaced
    Series 2 only (Series 1 at Twickenham Film Studios).
    The Royle Family1998Caroline Aherne & Craig CashIMDB Database page about The Royle Family
    Seasons 1-3 were shot with a single 16mm film camera without a live audience on a set built at Ealing Studios.
    Blakes 71978 - 1981VariousIMDB Database page about Blakes 7
    Shot on film at Ealing Studios and on tape at BBC TV Centre (from November 1977).