Riverside Studios Hammersmith

Riverside Studios Hammersmith London
Riverside Studios Exterior. Photo: Mark Ludmon

Riverside Studios sits on the banks of the Thames River in Hammersmith, London. This arts centre hosts performance, art exhibitions, cinema and television production.

Originally the site of a Victorian iron foundry, the site was converted into a studio for Triumph films in 1933. The site passed into the hands of various other film production countries before becoming part of the BBC in 1954. Opened by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1957, the BBC Riverside Television Studios was used for the production of series including Hancock’s Half Hour, Top Of The Pops, Dixon of Dock Green, Blue Peter and Play School amongst others until the BBC left in 1974.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council took control of Riverside Studios in 1974, forming charitable trust to manage the building with Michael Reardon designing two large multi-purpose spaces to be formed from the two main sound stages. Fun Fact: In 1976 a local rock group called The Strand was granted use of the space for rehearsals in the lead up to the venue’s opening festival in 1976. The Strand would later become The Sex Pistols.

Riverside Studios London
Riverside Studios – Cinema / Performance Space

Landmark productions including Peter Gill’s The Cherry Orchard (1978) convinced Julie Covington to turn down the lead role in Evita, The Changeling with Brian Cox and Robert Lindsay (1979), Measure for Measure with Helen Mirren (1979), seasons of Dance Umbrella, and Samuel Beckett directed Endgame and Waiting For Godot in 1980.

Riverside Studios closed for re-development continuing to produce shows during this period and re-opening in 2019.