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28 October 2014
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Local films for local people
The local shop from the @League of Gengtlemen@
The inhabitants of Royston Vasey might have just a few difficulties reaching their local shop
They were making films in Holmfirth long before there was a Hollywood, movies were being shown in Bradford from the very beginning and the film and television crews are still coming. We go in search of locations, past and present, in West Yorkshire.

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National Museum of Photography, Film and Television
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In the beginning...

It could all be said to have started in West Yorkshire. In 1897 Louis Le Prince, a French photographer working in Leeds, managed to create a few moving images of his back garden and, a few months later, did the same on Leeds Bridge. The moving picture was born but Le Prince mysteriously disappeared in 1890 and it was the Lumiere brothers who came to be hailed as the fathers of cinematography.

national museum of photography, film and tv
The national museum for film stands on the site of the Peoples' Palace

The first commercial showing of moving pictures in Great Britian took place in London in February 1896 but it is probable that the first film show out "in the sticks," (using the Lumiere brothers' 'Machine') occured at the Peoples' Palace music hall in Bradford just a couple of months later. The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television now stands on this site.

Making moving pictures soon became all the rage and film companies sprang up across West Yorkshire. They made pictures in Holmfirth long before they made them in Hollywood. As time went on the cameras moved out of the studios and film-makers from further afield made their way 'up north,' looking for new locations.

Today West Yorkshire's villages and towns, situated as they are between the Yorkshire Television in Leeds and the Granada studios in Manchester, continue to play a starring role in TV productions and film crews regularly descend on the area. Long-running series like A Touch of Frost and Emmerdale make it impossible to name every location used in the area and there's many a celebrated film or television series that is now long forgotten.


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