Historic Movie Studio Saved From Wrecking Ball
Britain's famed Twickenham Studios has been saved. Twickenham -- where such films as the Beatles' Help and A Hard Day's Night were filmed (as well as such classics as The Private Life of Henry VIII, Alfie, The Italian Job (1969), Blade Runner, A Fish Called Wanda, An American Werewolf in London , Interview with the Vampire and The Iron Lady) -- had reportedly been marked for possible demolition and redevelopment as a housing tract and office site after falling into bankruptcy and being taken over by new owners. Homebuilders Taylor Wimpey confirmed in March that it was in talks with the owners to redevelop the site "for a mixed-use scheme, providing employment space alongside a mixture of residential dwellings." The reports touched off a petition campaign to save the 99-year-old studio -- one of the oldest in the world -- that collected nearly 5,000 signatures, including those of such well-known film figures as Steven Spielberg (who shot last year's War Horse there) David Cronenberg, Stephen Daldry, Terry Gilliam, Colin Firth, Michael Apted, John Landis, Terry Jones, Peter Boyle, Julie Walters, and Paul McCartney. Sky News reported on Tuesday that the new owners, headed by businessman Sunny Vohra, have abandoned plans to redevelop the site and instead intend to invest in additional staff, refurbishments and other improvements.