Britain's iconic Pinewood Studios, set on rural land surrounding London, is planning a 105-acre expansion, transforming the film studio into a gated community that will accommodate 2,000 to 2,250 residences. Since their creation in 1937, the studios have been used for nearly 1,500 movies, including Great Expectations, Dr. Strangelove, and Sweeney Todd. Their make-believe, fake-walled structures include "a Roman Coliseum, a medieval, moated castle, and several urban streetscapes that range from New York's Lower East Side, to Venice's canals, to suburban LA, to a quaint European village." For other details, just read more .
The buildings on the outer rows of houses will be left for interior shoots, and filming will continue in the streets. So, CEO Ivan Dunleavy says, "It would be no different than if you were living on a New York street and you had a filmmaker filming outside your door." Space in the buildings will also accommodate shops, restaurants, gym, a performing arts venue (the Coliseum), a training center, and possibly even a school. The community will likely appeal to film-industry employees because of its live/work duality, but also regular citizens struggling with England's housing shortage. The expansion will also create more than 1,000 permanent jobs, and give Pinewood a competitive edge over studios in Hollywood and low-cost Eastern European countries. To see a video about the expansion, click here.