Neptune Studios

TV/film/recording studio in/near Borehamwood, existing between 1914 and now

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TV/film/recording studio · Borehamwood · WD6 ·

The Neptune Film Company opened the first studios in Borehamwood in 1914. It contained just a single small windowless stage (the first dark stage in England), relying entirely on electricity from a gas powered generator for lighting.

Production ceased during 1917 and the studio was sold to the Ideal Film Company who used the site up until 1924. During 1928 the studio was sold to Ludwig Blattner who connected it to the electricity mains and introduced a German system of sound recording.

The Blattner Studio was leased to Joe Rock Productions during 1934 and 2 years later they purchased the site. Rock Productions built 4 new large stages and began making films including the 1937 feature The Edge Of The World.

The studios were owned by British National Films Ltd between 1939 and 1948, although during this period a large portion of the studio was taken over by the Government for war work.

During 1953 the studios were leased to Douglas Fairbanks Jr, mainly for television production (including the Douglas Fairbanks Presents series and Alfred Hitchcock Presents) but were sold to Lew Grade’s Associated Television in 1962. Most of ATV's larger productions came from this site, most notably the international hits The Saint and The Muppet Show. After contract negotiations in 1968 requiring more regional coverage for the Midlands, more programmes came from their new studios in Birmingham, notably Crossroads, Bullseye, Tiswas and a few other small-scale programmes.

The studios were bought by the BBC in 1984 to become the home of EastEnders, but many other programmes have been made there - Top of the Pops, 'Allo 'Allo!, Grange Hill and Holby City - amongst others past and present.

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Borehamwood is a town of approximately 30 000 residents in southern Hertfordshire, just outside London, and part of the London commuter belt.

Borehamwood, more commonly called Boreham Wood before the LCC estate was built, is part of the borough of Hertsmere. The town is often associated with the nearby village Elstree (being part of the ancient parish of Elstree), the two still share a local council, now called the Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council.

The A1 passes just to the east of the town, and the M25 passes about two miles north of it.

Since the 1920s, the town has been the location of several film studios. The former British National Studios on Clarendon Road are now the BBC’s Elstree Television Studios. One of BBC’s popular soaps, EastEnders, is produced at the BBC studios, as well as popular medical drama Holby City. ’Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’, ’Big Brother’ and major feature films are filmed at the Elstree Studios in Shenley Road.
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