The Establishing Shot: The London Film Museum opens new exhibition space in Covent Garden

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

london film museumSuperman had the Fortress of Solitude, Batman the Batcave, Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street, Darth Vader the Death Star, Bond Villains have had countless iconic lairs (a tradition that will continue in Skyfall with Javier Bardem’s Bond villain Silva having a lair of his own) and I have the London Film Museum - where I can view pieces from all the aforementioned character's films.

A place of inspiration and wonder, where I sometimes go to renew and get in touch with my love of film. There are few places in the world where you can immerse yourself in such a large collection of original and rare pieces and props actually used in films and film making.

Each time I visit the museum I discover something new in their rotating exhibitions or a piece that I hadn't seen before as the museum houses an extensive collection of Ray Harryhausen’s original props, Charlie Chaplin (born just down the road) has also found a home here, as well as costumes and props from almost every loved film from British cinema (as well as international film made in the UK) from the last 100 years.

I’m not the only one who loves the London Film Museum and is happy that film heritage is being carefully saved for posterity whilst being publicly viewable.

 It is a bit sat that the majority of the London Film Museum’s visitors are from out of town, yet I understand that sometimes when something on your door step you take it for granted. Well the London Film Museum are making easier for everyone to engage with film history by expanding into the heart of London and their launch exhibition is certainly one close to my own heart.


The London Film Museum have announced the opening of a brand new exhibition space on 21 April 2012, following a major redevelopment of the original Flower Cellars in the heart of Covent Garden. 

The inaugural exhibition Magnum on Set will be supported by original artefacts from the silver screen, and personal cameras used by the photographers. The opening exhibition Magnum on Set, is a celebration of cinema hosting some of the greatest photographers of the Twentieth Century from the legendary agency, Magnum Photos. 

It is the London Film Museum’s first ever exhibition using their own Apple iPad technology which enables the displays to be viewed in infinitely more detail, multiple languages and intelligent education packages (IEP) – the first attraction with this level of interactivity in the United Kingdom. Magnum on Set will be on display at the London Film Museum between 21 April and 1 September 2012. 

The exhibition, which has never before been seen in the UK, hosts 146 of some of the most recognised film images in the world. The collection includes masterpieces such as Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight, Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch, Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without A Cause, Orson Welles’s The Trial, John Huston’s Moby Dick, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, and many more. 

Iconic actress Marilyn Monroe joins the prestigious collection in the emotive image of Eve Arnold captured in the Nevada desert whilst going over her lines for a difficult scene she was about to play with Clarke Gable in the film The Misfits by John Huston in 1960. There will also be some exciting original artefacts including Eve Arnold's original Rollieflex, and Inge Morath's Leica, not to mention original props, scripts and costumes. 

The photographers associated with Magnum have worked with movie-makers since its creation in 1947. Robert Capa, one of the founding fathers, had many friends in the film business – including Ingrid Bergman, Billy Wilder, and particularly John Huston – which gave him and other Magnum photographers access to the charmed and exclusive world of Hollywood. 

This connection to the film world has continued to the present day and widened to include movie-makers, directors and film stars from all over the world. This exhibition, with its great variety of photographers and 
movie-stars is a real enchantment for all those who love both photography and the moving image. 

Founder and Chief Executive of the London Film Museum, Jonathan Sands, who began his career as a stills photographer at Elstree Film Studios 20 years ago says: 
We are proud to be opening our latest Museum in Covent Garden together with this iconic exhibition which celebrates the careers of some of the greatest photographers of all time. We have been working closely with Capital and Counties PLC, CGAT, Westminster Council and architects KPF to build a new museum that is both creative and functional. Covent Garden is such a magical place with such a sense of history, creativity and community, offering something for everyone who visits the area. The Museum fits in perfectly with the surrounding attractions, and we are delighted that we are able to continue to promote the Film Industry to a wider audience in this fun and artistic way.
 Bev Churchill, Brand Director, Covent Garden London is 
delighted to welcome the London Film Museum to Covent Garden. As the cultural heart of the West End, the London Film Museum is a fantastic addition to the neighbourhood, and will offer a completely new experience to both Londoners and visitors, especially with its interactive technology and never before seen exhibitions. We look forward to the official opening in April and collaborating with the London Film Museum team on cultural activity in the area going forward.  
The Museum, which is located at 45 Wellington Street, London, has undergone a multi-million refurbishment to create an extraordinary exhibition space for the new London Film Museum following approved planning permission by Westminster Council in November 2010. The new space has been specifically designed to allow The London Film Museum complete flexibility in creating dedicated exhibitions in addition to receiving touring exhibitions.

Magnum on Set Exhibition at the new London Film Museum Covent Garden

The London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, WC2, London

From 21 April till 1 September, 2012

More info:

Over at the London Film Museum website

About the London Film Museum
The London Film Museum is the only museum of film history and film making in the Capital. It has been created with the backing of major Studios, Distributors and Industry professionals. It runs a range of workshops focusing on the art of film making and animation. For Teachers, the museum is extremely important. It can assist with the teaching of English, History, ICT, art, design and technology, music, film studies, maths, careers and can offer cross curricular opportunities for film making.

It is suitable for all age and ability levels. The London Film Museum’s first attraction opened in March 2008 at County Hall on the Southbank. It is a private enterprise, which continues to grow without the need of public funding. It is a business that reinvests its surpluses to further social, environmental, educational and cultural objectives. It is a museum that is constantly changing and evolving, improving, and building towards being a flagship Enterprise in the Capital. It also runs a successful events and hospitality business that is ancillary to the Museum for corporate and private clients alike. One of our objectives for LFM Covent Garden is to enhance the cultural and educational offering of Film and the Performing Arts, including Theatre for the local Westminster community.