Healing Ealing

Revamp for studios

The studios synonymous with English movie comedy have been given the go-ahead for a £70million revamp.

Owners of Ealing Studios now hope the site will be restored to its glory of the Forties and Fifties, when it was responsible for such classics as Kind Hearts And Coronets and The Lavender Hill Mob.

The west London facility was on the brink of oblivion last year, despite being used for such hits as Notting Hill. But it was brought by a consortium determined to bring film-making back to the 100-year-old site.

Now the group, which includes Fragile Films and The Manhattan Loft Corporation, has permission to refurbish production offices and the famous White House reception building, build a media village around the sound stages and create a centre with bar, café and screening room to help create a community atmosphere.

The consortium eventually hopes to expand its operation to include a base in Los Angeles.

The first movie to be made at the new-look studios will be The Importance Of Being Earnest, starring Rupert Everett and Judi Dench.

The weekly Ha Bloody Ha comedy club held at the studios will close for the summer while the work is carried out.

Published: 15 Jun 2001

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