Elstree film studios to be closed

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ELSTREE film studios - where much of the Star Wars and Superman movies were made - are to close, it was revealed yesterday.

The Brent Walker Group said there was little demand for the studios at Borehamwood in Hertfordshire. A company statement said: 'The board of Brent Walker announces with regret that it intends to discontinue film making activities at Elstree. With the demise of the film industry, the facilities there have been substantially under utilised . . . Brent Walker can no longer continue to subsidise the studios for which there is demonstrably no demand.'

The studios, founded in 1914, produced Britain's first 'talkies' and colour films. Paul Welsh, chairman of the Save Our Studios campaign, said the closure was 'another nail in the coffin of the British film industry'.

He added: 'In the 70s and 80s Steven Spielberg and George Lucas made 12 pictures at Elstree, including six of the then top 10 grossers - the three Star Wars films and the three Indiana Jones films. Some great films have come out of those studios: Albert Finney in Murder On The Orient Express, Gregory Peck in Moby Dick and Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'

British Film Industry director Wilf Stevenson said: 'This is sad for the film industry. The last thing we need is the closure of a major studio.'

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