Denham Studios

Dates: 1936 – 1952

Also known as London Studios, Denham Studios was founded in 1936 by Alexander Korda, as a base for his London Film Productions.

1939 Short Film about Denham Studios (featuring filming of The Four Feathers)

History of Denham Studios

1933  Alexander Korda founded London Film Productions on arriving in the UK from Hungary. The first production was “The Private Life Of Henry VIII”.

1935, Summer  Construction began on the studios which were founded by Alexander Korda, on a 165 acre (668,000 m²) site near the village of Denham, Buckinghamshire. The complex was designed by Jack Okey, who had been responsible for the First National and Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

1936, May The largest production facility in the country opened in May 1936, boasting seven sound stages, workshops for every craft, restaurants and dressing-rooms fit for Hollywood stars and a new Technicolor laboratory. This was to be a dream factory whose movies would have “prestige, pomp, magic and madness”, according to Korda.

1938 After only two years the studios were heavily in debt (£1 million). (unconfirmed: PInewood Studios took over the Denham facility).

1955 The J. Arthur Rank Company rented the facility to the United States Air Force from about 1955 until December 1961. At this time, Rank did not need the sound stages at Denham as well as those at Pinewood, and productions at Denham seemed to cost more money than those at Pinewood. The two companies merged, under a new management company called D&P (Denham and Pinewood) Productions.

1961 In the 1960s and 70s Rank Xerox occupied the Art Deco office buildings and used most of the sound stages as warehouses.

Late 1970s The site was sold to developers.

1981 The developers cleared the site between the junction of the Rickmansworth Road (now the A412 North Orbital road) and Moorhall Road towards Harefield, which provided some employment. The site is now used as a business park (Broadwater Park), containing (amongst other companies) the UK Headquarters of the Robert Bosch Ltd, the UK subsidiary of the Robert Bosch GmbH Group, and the global headquarters of InterContinental Hotels Group.

Productions shot at Denham Studios

Feature Film (8)

The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men1952Ken AnnakinIMDB Database page about The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men
The last movie to be shot at Denham Studios
Treasure Island1950Byron HaskinIMDB Database page about Treasure Island
A Matter of Life and Death1946Michael Powell, Emeric PressburgerIMDB Database page about A Matter of Life and Death
Brief Encounter1945David LeanIMDB Database page about Brief Encounter
Station refreshment room and other interiors
Henry V1944Laurence OlivierIMDB Database page about Henry V
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp1943Michael Powell, Emeric PressburgerIMDB Database page about The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Four Feathers1939Zoltan KordaIMDB Database page about The Four Feathers
The Man Who Could Work Miracles1936Lothar MendesIMDB Database page about The Man Who Could Work Miracles

Productions shot at Denham Studios
Made on the site during construction:
The Ghost Goes West (1935)
Things to Come (1936)
The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

The first film to be made at the studio proper was Southern Roses (1936).
Others included:
Knight Without Armour (1937)
Korda\’s Rembrandt (1936)
A Yank at Oxford (1937)
South Riding (1938)
The Citadel (1938)
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)
The Stars Look Down (1939)
Thief of Bagdad (1940) – mainly made at Denham.
Noel Coward’s In Which We Serve (1942)
Hatter’s Castle (1942)
A Canterbury Tale (1944)
I Know Where I’m Going! (1945)
Laurence Olivier’s Henry V (1944) and Hamlet (1948)
The last film to be made at Denham was Disney’s Robin Hood (1952).
(From Wikipedia)

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