Original Elstree Studios "stage 8" sign
A "Stage 8" wooden sign from Elstree Studios. Elstree was home to many popular productions, including the original Star Wars trilogy, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, the Indiana Jones trilogy, The Shining, Flash Gordon and The Dark Crystal.
Built in 1966, stage 8 is but one of Elstree’s nine soundstages, and with an area of 7,550 square feet, it was once the largest, until stages one and two were built in 1999.
Most recently, stage eight briefly contained a Victorian steamboat, with two decks constructed for Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game Of Shadows. The stage’s water tank, nine feet deep, has been used for everything from Raiders of the Lost Ark to a French advert for Cointreau.
In the summer of 1976, George Lucas transformed the stage into a distant galaxy in Star Wars, and Jabba's Palace for Return of the Jedi, and over the next 29 years, would return to Elstree again and again to shoot its sequels and prequels. When the final shots on Revenge Of The Sith were completed in 2005, producer Rick McCallum said of the studio, “Elstree’s our home. Even when we’re not shooting, we have a production office there. We always come back.”
Lucas returned with his friend Steven Spielberg, shooting the first three Indiana Jones pictures on the same stage. Stanley Kubrick shot The Shining here, constructing the interior and exterior of the Overlook Hotel – at the time, the largest movie set yet built. The list of films shot at Elstree reads like a genre geek’s dream: The Dark Crystal, Return To Oz, Labyrinth, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Willow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Kick-Ass, to name but a few.
- Licenced Replica