LONDON FILM MUSEUM COVENT GARDEN
45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BN, England
The London Film Museum is the only film museum of its kind in Great Britain, supporting the Film Industry and the talent within it. We are self supporting, reinvesting back into the museum and within the community, creating a number of local area initiatives that also form an important part of the school curriculum. The London Film Museum (previously The Movieum) was founded and created by Jonathan Sands in February 2008 following the success of Star Wars The Exhibition, which he co-promoted at the same venue the previous year. About 50% of the museum’s collection is from his private archive. Jonathan began his career as a commercial and advertising photographer, opening his own studio at the age of 17. He moved to the famous Elstree Film Studios as resident photographer in 1997 where he met Nicholas Harrison who owned a prop and events company called Weird and Wonderful.
Read More + Starting in 1998 Jonathan worked with Nick Harrison on special projects which included The Aliens Resurrection party at BAFTA and a grand event for the Prince of Malaysia on the set of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace at Leavesden Studios. Sadly, Nick Harrison passed away at the age of 37, but his legacy lives on. Jonathan bought the collection and company in 2001 and built it up into a full service production company, creating attractions like The Seven Deadly Sins at Thorpe Park and the Chelsea Football Club Centenary Museum at Stamford Bridge. He was invited to help co-ordinate a tie-in at the Monaco Grand Prix between Lucasfilm and Red Bull, which included the transportation and installation of full size space-crafts, and the co-ordination of the actors in costume during the event.
In 2006 Lucasfilm requested that the 30th Anniversary Exhibition be hosted in London and Jonathan was approached by the promoter to host the event at County Hall, where he had negotiated a short term license to present the exhibition. Star Wars -The Exhibition opened on May 4th 2007 and was a great success and voted Britain’s No1 family attraction by the Telegraph. Weird and Wonderful continued to service the film industry with props and set pieces but was falling victim to the CGI technologies which required less physical objects, coupled with a diminishing themed events market. When Star Wars closed and moved on in January 2008, Jonathan set about moving his entire collection into County Hall under the banner of The Movieum of London, which opened to a fantastic reception in February 2008, following the signing of a 25 year lease on 35,000 sq.ft of the first floor.
Read More + However, the team are determined to constantly improve the offering and to create a film museum that is worthy of flying the flag for the industry and the individuals working within it. Everything is produced in-house and in a similar way to a film, from the initial concept, script, art direction, set construction, production and editing. In March 2008 Jonathan was introduced to Rick Senat, an ex-Senior Executive at Warner Bros. and a pillar within the British film industry. In March 2009, Rick became Chairman and Jonathan Chief Executive. Rick then formed the Movieum's Advisory Group which included David Robinson (Chaplin’s Biographer and well respected Film Critic), Leslie Hardcastle OBE, (creator of MOMI), Linda Ayton (Fred Zinnemann’s P.A.) and Professor Ian Christie (Birkbeck University of London).The first two key decisions to be passed by the new Advisory Group were the rebranding of the name to London Film Museum and to create the Chaplin Exhibition.
In January 2010 The Movieum officially changed its name to the London Film Museum and embarked on curating a number of exhibitions that included Charlie Chaplin - The Great Londoner and Ray Harryhausen, Myths & Legends. With the South Bank location having attracted many thousands of visitors over the 6 years, the lease interest was finally sold to Merlin Entertainments in December 2013. In August 2010, property company Capital and Counties Plc began negotiations with the Directors to create a new London Film Museum as part of their plans in Covent Garden and planning permission was approved by Westminster City Council in November of the same year, paving the way for a multi million pound development of the former Flower Cellars, a 25,000 sq.ft facility to build alongside the famous all new Balthazar restaurant.
Read More + The new State of the art facility opened its doors on April 21st 2012 with an iconic exhibition called Magnum on Set, with images by Magnum photographers taken on the sets of films such as 'The Seven Year Itch', 'Rebel Without A Cause', 'Moby Dick' and 'Zabriskie Point'. The photographs – which include Eve Arnold's shots of Marilyn Monroe and Robert Capa's images of Ingrid Bergman, Billy Wilder and John Huston. In January 2014, production began on the Bond in Motion exhibition in partnership with Eon Productions opening a new chapter in the London Film Museum's history.