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EDITIONS
Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Ealing Studios gear up for future
Ealing Studios
Ealing Studios: Almost went into receivership in 90s
Ealing Studios, one of the UK's most famous film and television studios, has got the go-ahead for a redevelopment aimed at taking it back to the forefront of film-making.

The studios - where hits from the famed Ealing comedies to Spiceworld: The Movie were filmed - has been given planning permission for extra space and hi-tech facilities.


We intend to take Ealing into the future while keeping the glory of the past

Uri Fruchtmann
Fragile Films
It is hoped that it will become a centre for state-of-the-art digital film-making.

The studios were opened in 1902 and work has recently begun on the first film to be made under the Ealing name since 1959.

The Importance Of Being Earnest, adapted from the Oscar Wilde play and starring Rupert Everett, Dame Judi Dench and Colin Firth, will be released next year.

The studios will be revamped by a consortium including Fragile Films, Idea Factory and the Manhattan Loft Corporation.

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench has been filming at Ealing
"We intend to take Ealing into the future while keeping the glory of the past and providing a home for the creative film and television community," said Uri Fruchtmann of Fragile Films.

"The studio has survived and prospered for the last 100 years - we are very excited to have the opportunity to prepare it for the next 100 years."

New sound stages, rehearsal areas and post-production suites will be built while allowing filming to continue at the same time.

They were also recently used for the latest instalment of the Star Wars series and Notting Hill and TV's The Royle Family have also been filmed there.

But they are best-known for the 100 comedies that bore the Ealing name.

Receivership threat

The most famous productions include Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Ladykillers, The Lavendar Hill Mob and The Man in the White Suit.

The BBC took over the studios in the fifties with shows like The Singing Detective and Colditz filmed there.

They faced receivership in the mid-nineties, before being saved by the National Film And Television School, who sold the 3.8 acre complex to the consortium that currently owns them.

The Idea Factory's John Kao said: "In every way in which it operates, Ealing Studios seeks to be an innovator - in the quality of the space we create, in the content we make, in the technologies we use.

"We are very excited about the prospects for the redevelopment of the site."

See also:

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