ABC Cinemas – The End Of An Era

January 27, 2017

The final screening, Back to the Future, has been shown in the last remaining ABC (Associated British Cinemas) cinema in the UK. The ABC cinema in Bournemouth is due to be redeveloped into flats.

ABC began in 1928, ABC was formed by Elstree Studios then owner John Maxwell to show films made at Elstree Studios under the banner Associated British Pictures Corporation. ABC cinemas became a familiar site on all British highstreets. Elstree Studios was called The British Hollywood at that time and was the UK’s biggest producer of feature films.

In the 1960s, Elstree Studios became the home of ITV’s ABC Television and became used for both Feature Film and Television productions with such international hits such as The Saint and The Avengers.

ABC operated TV production sites at Elstree Studios and Teddington Studios, Middlesex. It is interesting to note that the current Managing Director of Elstree Studios Roger Morris was a former owner of Teddington Studios till 2006. With ABC Televisions merger with ITV London’s Rediffusion in the 1960s, Teddington Studios became the main production base for the new company “Thames Television” and remained the main ITV London company producing legendary TV shows from Benny Hill, Morecombe and Wise, Armchair Theatre, World At War, Rumpole, Minder, Men Behaving Badly, Rainbow and its downfall programme This Week.

Roger Morris MD of Elstree Studios said, “The closure of the last ABC cinema is the end of an era, perhaps a reminder of the golden era of British Film production. However we celebrate the success of our new Film and TV era for this millennium, with amazing talent, award winning production and new technology reaching a worldwide audience.  Elstree Studios has a great past and a great future.”

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