MGM British Studios

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM-British Studios was established in 1936 through the acquisition of
the Denham Film Studios near Denham, a village in Buckinghamshire, England. It was the biggest film outfit in the United Kingdom at that time, occupying a 668,000 sqm area. This was during the golden age of MGM Studios Inc. in Hollywood.

Denham Film Studios was founded by Alexander Korda, a prominent British film director and producer. These studios were quite attractive and on the grounds they had landscaped gardens and an old house where Korda stayed. MGM abandoned the studios which were later merged with J. Arthur Rank’s Pinewood Studios.

J. Arthur Rank was a British Industrialist film producer and founder of The Rank Group Plc. The Studios stopped filming in 1952. The studios were then used as warehouses by another Rank company, the Rank Xerox.  It seems that only the film processing labs were still around during the 1980s.

It was in 1948 when MGM British Studios acquired control of the Amalgamated Studios in Borehamwood, a town in southern Hertfordshire, north of London The Amalgamated Studios in Borehamwood was owned by J. Arthur Rank. It was founded in 1935. Later on, MGM British was able to make this into one of the most beautiful and biggest studios in the United Kingdom Among the notable films produced by MGM British studios were A Yank at Oxford (1938), The Citadel (1938), Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939), The Haunting (1963), The Dirty Dozen (1967),  Where Eagles Dare (1968), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

When the Dirty Dozen was filming, residents would complain of the noise made by the nightly shooting. It is said that the film 2001: A Space Odyssey was the cause of MGM British Studios’ closure. The set for this film occupied so much space in the studios, costing money and, presumably, no other major film was made or followed. This went on for two years. The studios were used by MGM as its British headquarters until 1970.  At about this time MGM decided to merge with EMI-Elstree and abandoned Borehamwood.


In the early 1970s the municipal government cleared the former studio site and put up several structures including a library and a leisure complex in line with its civic program. 

Also at this time MGM was no longer a film production studio. Instead it help financed another studio’s film productions and it became known as EMI-MGM Elstree. It distributed films under the name MGM-EMI. MGM separated in 1973.



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