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Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Bond film stage 'will be rebuilt'
Pinewood fire
The soundstage had previously been rebuilt after a fire in 1984
The James Bond stage destroyed by fire at the weekend "will need to be demolished and rebuilt", according to a statement from Pinewood Studios.

The cause of the blaze at Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, which left the celebrated stage completely gutted, has yet to be confirmed.

However, Pinewood said the rest of its studios would be fully operational "by the end of today".

The stage was housing sets built for Casino Royale, the next Bond movie.

No filming was taking place at the time and there were no casualties.

"The production had completed shooting and was in the process of removing its film sets," said Pinewood.

Explosions

It said the studio had "well established procedures" to deal with fires which had proved effective.

"The Board has not been able to assess the full effects of this incident," the statement continued.

Spy Who Loved Me set
The stage was built for the tanker sequence in The Spy Who Loved Me
"However, its preliminary view is that this is unlikely to have any material impact on the financial performance of the company for the full year."

Buckinghamshire Fire Brigade were alerted at 1118 BST on Sunday. At least eight fire engines tackled the blaze, the smoke from which was visible from up to 10 miles away.

The roof covering the stage caved in through fire damage and firefighters required special equipment to reach it.

Witnesses heard two explosions, later attributed to welding kits including acetylene cylinders.

Smoke inhalation

It is the second time the stage, originally built for the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, has been destroyed by fire.

The building was previously rebuilt following a fire in 1984 that left six people needing treatment for burns, smoke inhalation and shock.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Parts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were also filmed there
Since its reopening, when it was christened the Albert R Broccoli 007 Stage after the long-time producer of the series, it has been used in five James Bond films.

Other films to have used its facilities include Mission: Impossible, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Tomb Raider movies.

The building also housed the Fortress of Solitude set used in the first two Superman films and the replica of the Louvre gallery seen in The Da Vinci Code.

Measuring 102m (334ft) long, 41m (136ft) wide and 12.5m (40.5ft) high, it was one of the world's largest "silent" stages - so named because it lacked the acoustic insulation required for sound recording.

According to specifications taken from Pinewood's website, the building was not equipped with sprinklers.


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