Platinum celebrations as winning name for Elstree Studios' new soundstages announced

The new soundstages at Elstree Studios under construction. They will be called the Platinum Stages when they open in 2022.

The new soundstages at Elstree Studios under construction. They will be called the Platinum Stages when they open in 2022. - Credit: Supplied by Hertsmere Borough Council

Star Wars creator George Lucas, Raiders of the Lost Ark director Steven Spielberg and The Shining's Stanley Kubrick are just some of the famous filmmakers to have shot movies at the historic Elstree Studios.

The studios complex already has stages named after George Lucas, with one of them used for Strictly Come Dancing.

A name for Elstree Studios' landmark new soundstages currently under construction has now been chosen after more than 400 suggestions were submitted by residents and film and television fans nationwide.

Entries inspired by icons of the silver screen and leading lights in the TV and film industry, as well as those honouring local heroes and based on filmic references to screen classics such as Star Wars, Big Brother and Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, all produced on-site, were submitted during a two-week public competition run by Elstree Studios, in partnership with Hertsmere Borough Council.

The new soundstages, currently under construction, taking shape at Elstree Studios.

The new soundstages, currently under construction, taking shape at Elstree Studios. - Credit: Supplied by Elstree Studios

However, the winning entry, Platinum Stages, was submitted by Matt Payne, 43, of London.

It was chosen by the board of directors of Elstree Studios and the Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Anne Swerling.

Matt will receive two VIP passes to the launch of the new soundstages next spring, a tour of the famous film and TV studios and lunch at the on-site Rushes restaurant.

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He will also receive an Elstree Studios hoodie, goodie bag and range of merchandise.

Councillor Morris Bright MBE, leader of the council and chairman of the Elstree Studios board, said: "We had some really quite imaginative and very noteworthy suggestions.

"Among those shortlisted were The Skywalker Stages, Kubrick's Overlook Stages, The Paul Welsh Stages in honour of one of our foremost studio champions, and The Centenary Stages, in recognition of the studios' near 100-year history.

The new Platinum Stages under construction at Elstree Studios.

The new Platinum Stages under construction at Elstree Studios. - Credit: Supplied by Hertsmere Borough Council

"The reason the board and mayor of Hertsmere chose Platinum is because it works on so many levels.

"Obviously, platinum has connotations of high value and exclusivity –  which aligns perfectly with the cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art specifications of this facility.

"But it's also appropriate because the Queen's Platinum Jubilee is taking place next year, just when these new soundstages will be opening.

"This auspicious occasion will be a moment for the whole nation to come together and celebrate all that has been and all that is to come for the country.

"Locally, it makes absolute sense to use the new soundstages to pay tribute to our monarch and the many years of her reign, while looking to the future for TV and film production in Hertsmere that this new addition to our studios represents."

New soundstages under construction at Elstree Studios

New soundstages under construction at Elstree Studios. They will be named the Platinum Stages. - Credit: Supplied by Hertsmere Borough Council

Mayor Cllr Swerling said: "I want to thank everyone who took the time to submit their entry to our competition.

"We were delighted with and quite overwhelmed by the sheer number of entries received.

"It really is testimony to the genuine public affection out there for Elstree Studios and Hertsmere.

"We really feel that Platinum Stages embodies the borough’s prestigious film and television connections, while also pointing to the exciting possibilities of its future.

"It's also a wonderful way to celebrate our Queen and her many years of service to our country."

Work to build the two new soundstages and ancillary workshops began earlier this year and is set to finish in spring 2022.

The state-of-the-art facility will sit next to The George Lucas stages on the site of the former Big Brother house, which 50 years before that also served as the site for an outdoor effects tank for the film Moby Dick.   

Once operational, the facility will create at least 800 new jobs, plus apprenticeship and other learning opportunities for local school leavers and the unemployed. 

The £15.6 million project has been part-funded by Hertsmere Borough Council and the government's Getting Building Fund via the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

As part of the deal, £100,000 per year from the rental income received by the council which owns the studios will be invested locally into creative industries, including local media and creative enterprise and initiatives.

The new Sky Studios Elstree film and TV studios complex in Hertsmere is also due to open in 2022.

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