Merton Park Studios

Dates: 1929-1971

Merton Park Studios was a British film production studio in South Wimbledon, London.
Opened in 1930, many second features were produced there, and for a time it was home to Radio Luxembourg. Unlike many other studios, they remained open during World War ll, producing films for the Ministry of Information.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the crime series Scotland Yard, The Edgar Wallace Mysteries and The Scales of Justicecame from a rolling production line. The last film made by the Merton Park Studios company, in March 1967, was from the latter series, called Payment in Kind.
Amongst those apprenticed for a time at the studio was the composer David Fanshawe, who trained as a film editor there.
The actor/author Stanley Morgan has a number of pages dedicated to the Merton Park films he starred in at his website The Films of Stanley Morgan and some memoirs.

Productions at Merton Park Studios

From 1934 to 1967 some 130 second feature films ‘B-movies’ were produced at Merton Park Studios, mostly crime-based.

  • The Admiral’s Secret (1934)
  • Sam Goes Shopping (1939 short film)
  • The Case of Charles Peace (1949)
  • Hindle Wakes (1952)
  • Death Goes to School (1953)
  • The Great Game (1953)
  • Street of Shadows (1953)
  • Dangerous Voyage (1954)
  • Timeslip (1955)
  • The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn (1956 Short Film)
  • Man in the Shadow
  • Man with a Gun (1958)
  • The Desperate Man (1959)
  • Horrors of the Black Museum (1959)
  • The Witness (1959)
  • Wrong Number (1959)
  • The Criminal (1960)
  • Urge to Kill (1960)
  • Konga (1961)
  • The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre (1960 TV series to 1965)
  • The Scales of Justice (1962 TV series to 1967)
  • The Leather Boys (1964)
  • Invasion (1965)
  • The Projected Man (1966)
  • The Frozen Dead (1967)
  • It! (1967)
  • Egghead’s Robot (1970)
  • The Corpse (1970)

Merton Park Studios – History

1895 – Frederic Shields (pre-Raphaelite artist) lived and worked at Long Lodge until his death in 1911. Long Lodge (267a/269 Kingston Road, Wimbledon) dates mainly from the 18th Century

1912 – 1930s – Long Lodge is the home and offices of architect J.S.Brocklesby, who designed many ‘arts and crafts’ houses in the local area and further afield.

1930 – Merton Park Studios officially opens

1931 – Sound Services converts former industrial premises at Kingston Road, Merton in south London into a film studio. [ref]

1934 – Part of Long Lodge is leased to Publicity Films with the rest of the property used by the Brocklesby family.

1937 – Merton Park Studios is formed to own the Sound Services studio (see 1931). [ref]

1939 – The Brocklesby family moved out and the whole of Long Lodge is taken over by the newly formed Merton Park Studios and it’s associated companies.

1958-1960 – Second sound stage built in a mood of optimism.

August 1960 – The start of a 25 month period when 25 ‘Edgar Wallace’ feature films were produced at Merton Park Studios by Anglo Amalgamated – one per month! [ref]
Anglo-Amalgamated Productions was a British film production company run by Nat Cohen and Stuart Levy that operated from the 1940s to the 1970s. Much of the output was low budget and often second features, many produced at Merton Park Studios. It is best known for the first twelve Carry on films and many B-movie series such as The Scales of Justice and Edgar Wallace Mysteries.

1967 – Last feature produced (Payment in Kind, starring John Thaw)

March 1967 – The studio closed and the “Merton Park Studios” production company operation de-camped to Bushey, Hertfordshire.

1976 – Long Lodge sold and the grounds developed for housing. The lodge becomes a set of offices, currently the home of Bedford Insurance.

Sources:


Productions shot at Merton Park Studios


Merton Park Studios – Links

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