1984 – 1994
Located a few hundred yards downstream of Tower Bridge on the south bank of the river, these studios were in their day the largest in London, covering 3.25 acres. They were originally a Spillers’ dog biscuit factory – no, really – and began with 4 stages, increasing to 7 by the time they closed. Apparently, the empty factory was used as a location for a pop video and the makers realised that the buildings would make great film stages until redevelopment took place – as still often happens today. In fact this temporary use went on for 11 years.
Several highly regarded feature films were shot here either entirely or partly including Highlander (’86) with Christopher Lambert, Personal Services (’87) with Julie Walters and Prick up Your Ears (’87) with Vanessa Redgrave, Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina. Other movies included Biggles – Adventures in Time (’86), The Young Americans (’93), and Different For Girls (’96).
Jacob St was used to make pop videos, commercials and several TV dramas. Best known of these was LWT’s London’s Burning. This was based on the 1986 TV movie written by Jack Rosenthal. It ran from 1988 – 2002 and there were 171 episodes. The original fire station featured is on Wolseley St in London and was opposite the Jacob St Studios. When the studios closed in 1994 another fire station was used. The Comic Strip 2 was also filmed here.
The studios were demolished to make way for a large residential development.