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Secrets of Islington film studio where Alfred Hitchcock learnt his trade revealed in new book

16:31 07 August 2014

London

London's Hollywood

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The secrets of an Islington film studio where Alfred Hitchcock cut his teeth are revealed in a new book.

London’s Hollywood, The Gainsborough Studio in the Silent Years, by Gary Chapman, tells the tale of the Poole Street facility from its creation in 1919 to its partial destruction in 1930.

Famous Players Lasky, later Paramount Pictures, took over a former railway power station on the banks of Regent’s Canal to bring proper film production to the capital.

Their plan failed, but the top-of-the-range facility was rented out to independent production companies, with some British film greats passing through its doors, including Graham Cutts, Herbert Wilcox and a young Alfred Hitchcock.

Then in 1930 a fire broke out, virtually destroying the studios - just as talking pictures came onto the scene.

Mr Chapman said: “I’m fascinated by the movies and silent films there was this big gap in the market.

“Nobody had really written about this before.

“Particularly with the Hitchcock connection, it was a part of his career that hadn’t been covered all that much.

“Plus I thought it would be great fun to write.”

London’s Hollywood, The Gainsborough Studio in the Silent Years, is published by Edditt and costs £14.99.

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