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Battersea Power Station in The Dark Knight

Date posted: 01.07.2008

This summer sees the return of one of the biggest UK filming franchises, Batman - with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. This is the latest, and surely the darkest, of the films to date - starring the late Heath Ledger as The Joker.

Battersea Power Station provided the backdrop for one of the most ambitious special effects scenes filmed on location in the UK, let alone London.

The Power Station provided several sets seen throughout the film but the big explosion required the most planning, consultation and negotiations with the myriad of concerned parties.

Location Manager and long term Wandsworth resident, Steve Hart, met countless interested parties and dropped well over 1,000 resident letters on both sides of the river relating to this night time scene. 'On the night we received several calls from Pimlico residents in the Churchill Gardens Estate who were having balcony parties waiting for the Bang'.

Built in 1930 and architecturally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Battersea Power Station eventually closed in 1983. Recognised worldwide due to the 'Animals' Pink Floyd 1976 photo-shoot, which featured a pig flying between the south chimneys (the pig escaped causing air traffic control mayhem), the building is one of the largest brick constructions in Europe with a footprint of six acres.

Battersea Power Station has finally become viable as a film location since new owners Real Estate Opportunities Ltd (REO) took over in 2007. The site is managed on behalf of REO by Treasury Holdings UK and following a significant investment in remedial works that have created safe access to the inside of the decaying building, the power station is at last constantly busy with film crews enjoying the unique industrial and art deco features it has to offer.

Much of the credit should go to Rebecca Beveridge of Treasury Holdings UK who, through her background at Amazing Space, brought REO/Treasury Holdings UK and the UK film industry together. 'Battersea Power Station is hands down the most exciting location I know. REO has invested a huge amount to improve access to the power station, but it remains a sensitive location and we simply couldn't run filming here successfully without the full support of experienced location managers.

The Batman explosion was testament to just what can be achieved with a joint, can-do approach to the creative demands of the big screen. We've now launched development plans for the site, but rest assured Battersea Power Station will remain available to the film industry for the foreseeable future.'

Other locations used by The Dark Knight in London include: The Ministry of Sound; Farmiloes; Earls Court; Middlesex Hospital and The Criterion Theatre.

Other films that have used Battersea Power Station since The Dark Knight include: Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus; Mikael Hafstorm's Shanghai and Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla.

For enquiries regarding filming at Battersea Power Station please contact Annabel Francois at 1st Option on 020 7284 2345.

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