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End of line for Twickenham Film Studios

Kevin Hilton 29 February 2012

Twickenham Film Studios and its post-production department, featuring a Dolby Premier certified dubbing theatre, went into administration last week (21 February) and is likely to be sold for redevelopment during March, writes Kevin Hilton. The west London facility, with credits including The Italian Job, The Beatles’ Help, Blade Runner and, more recently, My Week with Marilyn and The Iron Lady, was due to celebrate its centenary next year. The business was established in 1913 as St Margaret’s Studio on the site of an old ice rink and became Twickenham Film Studios in 1929. Despite recent high profile productions being made and post-produced at the site, Twickenham had reportedly been losing money over the last three years. While the sound stages were used for films such as A Hard Day’s Night and Zulu, the audio post-production department built up its own reputation, particularly under the guidance of dubbing mixer and head of sound, Gerry Humphreys. Theatre 1 (pictured) was refurbished three years ago and gained a Dolby Premier certificate. The administration is being handled by Gerald Krasner of the Begbies Traynor group, who describes this particular process as "peculiar" because in addition to acting for the creditors he also has to take the shareholders’ interests into account. News coverage of Twickenham Film Studios closing led to over 20 interested parties contacting Krasner with a view to buying the business. However, a deal has already been arranged with an unnamed company that is not in the film business. Krasner hopes the contracts will be exchanged during March. If this goes through, and he does not expect it to break down, then Twickenham "will not continue as film studios". www.begbies-traynorgroup.com

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