WEMBLEY PARK ON THE BIG AND SMALL SCREEN
Wembley Park is proud to have been the scene of multiple mysteries, exciting explosions and fiendishly fantastic fantasy… and today no one blinks an eye when another film crew draws up on site. That is because Wembley Park has such a long association with film and television.
Here’s the more films we’ve heard about so far:
FILM AND TELEVISION HISTORY
Between 1927 and 1955, the former Palace of Engineering housed Wembley Studios. During the 1930s, under the ownership of Fox, 60 films were made at Wembley, employing 220 people.
During the Second World War the Army Kinematograph Service and the RAF Film Unit made training films at Wembley. Ealing Studios filmed Ships with Wings here in 1941.
The last commercial cinema film made at Wembley was The Ship That Died of Shame (1955), another Ealing production.
In 1955, Associated-Rediffusion Television Studios took over Wembley Film Studio and went on to add a new £1,000,000 television studio called ‘Studio Five’, then the largest in Europe. It could actually be divided into two studios – 5a and 5b – by a 25-ton steel door which was lowered into place by a specially built device made from the traversing mechanism of a warship’s gun turret. It is still in use today.
The first production was An Arabian Night, starring Orson Welles. The studio also saw The Beatles film Around the Beatles, a special programme dedicated to the Fab Four filmed in Studio 5 on 28th April 1964.
Rediffusion lost its weekday franchise in 1968. London Weekend Television continued to use the studio, but much of the older part was demolished and Studio 5 declined, changing hands several times.
The studios were occupied by Lee Film Studios in 1977 or 1978, having been vacant for several years. Over the next two years Lee completely refurbished the studios. Films, TV programmes and commercials were all made here.
In August 1984 Lee acquired Shepperton Film Studios and moved out of Wembley. Then in 1993 Fountain Studios took over Wembley Studios and refurbished them, making TV programmes from 1994 and going on to win the Broadcast Award for Best Studio Facilities in 1999. Since then the studios have gone on to host some of the highest profile programmes on television.