Beds, Herts & Bucks

Pinewood Studios celebrates 80 years of film

Pinewood Studios Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Actor Diana Dors poses at the gates of Pinewood in the 1950s

Pinewood Studios is celebrating 80 years of filmmaking.

It opened its gates on 30 September 1936 to provide Britain with a film studio to compete with Hollywood.

Since then, the site in Buckinghamshire has produced blockbusters such as the James Bond franchise and Star Wars films.

Former Bond star Sir Roger Moore, who made all but one of his Bond films at the Iver Heath studios, described Pinewood as a "second home".

Studio historian Gareth Owen said the site had been responsible for "really landscape-changing films".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pinewood Studios was developed under British film mogul J Arthur Rank - seen here with head of camera department Bert Easy
Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Roger Moore (L) has paid tribute to the "charm and warmth" of Pinewood Studios - he re-opened the studios after a fire in 1985 with Fiona Fullerton and Christopher Walken

The location has more than a dozen main stages - including the 007 stage - and covers tens of thousands of square feet.

Over the years, dozens of blockbusters and much-loved classics have been filmed at the site - from Oliver Twist and the Carry On series, to thriller Alien and several of the Marvel movies.

It has also been home to television shows, adverts and pop promos.

'Best reputation'

The studios were developed when British film mogul J Arthur Rank decided he wanted his own studio to compete with the technology and facilities of studios is the United States.

Together with builder Charles Boot he bought Heatherden Hall and the studios grew around it.

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Image caption Pinewood Studios has been home to the James Bond including You Only Live Twice with Lois Maxwell, Akiko Wakabayashi, Sean Connery, Mie Hama and Karin Dor in 1966
Image copyright PA
Image caption As the James Bond film producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli (second left) was a regular visitor
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Image caption Several comic book movies have been filmed at Pinewood - this is the museum on Batman's Gotham City set in 1989

Mr Owen said film production is one of the UK's indigenous industries and Pinewood was "at the forefront" of its success.

"It has the best stages, the best technicians and really the best reputation," he said.

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Image caption Michael Caine on the set of Billion Dollar Brain in 1967

Sir Roger - who first worked there in 1946 and has had an office onsite for decades - said in addition to the Bond films, he has made half a dozen other movies at Pinewood, including The Persuaders.

"I like to think I know Pinewood quite well. [It] not only has the very best facilities, it also has a charm and warmth unlike any other studio."

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Image caption Among the acting greats to pass under the famed Pinewood Studio entrance are Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe - here on the set of The Sleeping Prince in 1956
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Image caption Christopher Lee (left) and Peter Cushing on the set of Arabian Adventure in 1978

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