Gainsborough exhibition opens in East London

A new exhibition about the Gainsborough Film Studios has opened at Hackney Museum

Date posted Gainsborough, Exhibition

From 1924 to 1949 the Gainsborough Film Studios in Hoxton were at the heart of the British film industry and played host to its biggest stars. Based in an old power station in Poole Street, the studios were home to the film production company, Gainsborough Pictures. Alongside its sister site at Shepherds Bush, the studios produced some of Britain’s best-loved films.

Alfred Hitchcock began his film career at the studios, and made his earliest films there, including the 1927 silent thriller The Lodger. In the 1930s the studios became renowned for its comedies, with films such as Oh, Mr Porter!, starring Will Hay. The studios went on to produce classics such as The Wicked Lady, Fanny by Gaslight and The Lady Vanishes, and launched the careers of James Mason, Stewart Granger, Margaret Lockwood, and Phyllis Calvert.

This exhibition features screenings of three classic films made at the Gainsborough Studios, as well as original film posters, production drawings and film stills.

The films screening are:

The Lodger, starring Ivor Novello 17th April – 17th May
Oh, Mr Porter!, starring Will Hay 20th May – 7th June
Fanny by Gaslight, starring Phyllis Calvert 10th June – 5th July

The Museum will also be holding the following special screening events:

Thursday 1st May 20037.00pm – 8.30pm

The famous Gainsborough Film Studios opened in Poole Street, Hoxton in 1924. Film historian Sue Harper charts the fortunes of the studios and Gainsborough Pictures, illustrated by clips from the films.

Thursday 22nd May 2003 7.00pm – 8.30pm

This event brings together some of the best documentary footage shot in Hackney. The selection includes street scenes of Hoxton in the 1920s, and a special screening of clips from one of Britain’s earliest feature films, made in the Hackney Studios in 1916. Amanda Huntley of the London Film Archive will be presenting this unique compilation, using her expertise on the history of documentary filmmaking.

Thursday 5th June 2003 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Hackney is regularly used by film crews working on TV dramas, feature films, pop videos and commercials. Using TV and film clips, Jon Hardy from The Film Office will be talking about how it all works, which Hackney locations are most popular and which screen stars have found themselves working in the borough.

The exhibition runs from Thursday 17th April – Saturday 5th July 2003. Admission is free.

Hackney Museum, Hackney Technology & Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, Hackney, London, E8 1GQ. Tel. 020 8356 3500. E-mail:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday9.30am–5.30pm
Sunday, Monday, Bank Holidays Closed