As a longtime Hammer horror fan I was dismayed to learn that the renowned Bray Studios in the UK is under threat. Bray Studios is one of the only working studios that has survived from the era of classic British cinema. From 1951-1966 Hammer produced all of their films there and in the ’70s the studio was rented out and used by television shows such as The Errol Flynn Theatre, Space 1999, Doctor Who and Inspector Morse. Musical artists such as The Who and Eric Clapton recorded at Bray Studios and important British films continued to be made there including the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and parts of Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979). Most recently Terry Gilliam shot parts of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) at Bray Studios.
Bray Studios should be gearing up to celebrate its 60th Anniversary next year but the new owners have announced that they want to destroy the current building and build housing in its place. It would be a terrible shame to lose the “House that Hammer Built” which gave birth to so many wonderful films and helped launch the careers of beloved actors such as Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Oliver Reed and Raquel Welch. For years fans have gathered at Bray for the Hammer at Bray events where people can meet and greet Hammer stars as well as tour the grounds. I’d like to attend one of these events myself someday but if Bray Studios disappears that opportunity will be lost for myself as well as others.
Thankfully Robert Simpson has taken up the cause to Save Bray Studios from destruction. If you would like to learn more about his efforts please visit the Save Bray Studios blog he has created to share news and information with others. He also created a Facebook Group to gain support for his cause and you can keep up with the latest news at Save Bray Studios on Twitter.
Please consider joining Robert Simpson’s effort to Save Bray Studios! You can lend your support by joining the Save Bray Studios Facebook Group and Robert is also accepting written contributions to his Save Bray Studios blog. Have some ideas about how Bray Studios can be saved? Have you visited or worked at Bray Studios and want to share your story with someone? Or maybe you just want to express your love for the films that were made at Bray Studios? Whatever the case may be please consider contacting Robert Simpson and letting him know that you support his cause.
Peter Cushing with Hammer film producer & writer Anthony Nelson Keys at Bray Studios