Putney as a Film Set

A free talk chronicles the many films and TV series that have used Putney as a location

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A free talk at Putney Library, 30th January, chronicles the many films and TV series that have used Putney as a location. Beginning in March 1895, when British cinema pioneer Robert Paul shot a 1-minute film of the University Boat Race, with his colleague Birt Acres, the river and embankment have hosted many a film crew.

Putney has been the backdrop to many films. Who remembers the Sandwich Man, or the Magic Christian? Both the rural nature of the Commons and embankment and particularly the river have attracted film makers. Stills from films shot locally form a historical record of change, capturing a history of familiar landmarks, some of which have now vanished. The Hippodrome theatre, which stood in Felsham road, was very popular with the filmakers. Opened in 1906 as the ‘Putney Empire and Palace of Varieties’, it became a cinema in 1924, surviving until 1961. Scenes shot there are a testament to the ‘special effects’ part of the film making tradition.

The TV series cameras have also been well used in and around Putney. Well loved actors such as John Thaw and Dennis Waterman must have known our streets quite well! Police series were particularly popular. New Tricks, Minder, The Sweeny often featured scenes, and even the occasional car chase around Putney and Roehampton.

Come and see how the film makers used familiar Putney views in different ways. Join in at Phil Evison’s talk at 6.30 on Thursday 30th January and see how many places you can identify!

A free event from the friends of Putney Library.

January 21, 2020


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