It should come as no surprise that a creative place like Shoreditch has provided the backdrop to some of cinema’s greatest hits over the years. Here’s our pick of some of the many iconic movie sites to check out in and around the Shoreditch area.
For an adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, film-makers turned to Cheshire Street, which at the time the film was shot (also in 1984) provided the ideal backdrop with its rundown shops and broken windows. Today the area is considerably less gritty looking and far more presentable, but it’s still a great place to see a slice of film history while staying at your hotel on City Road London.
Liverpool Street Station
In 1980, Liverpool Street Station and nearby Homerton Hospital provided locations for shooting of The Elephant Man, David Lynch’s epic depiction of the life and times of Joseph Merrick. Using locations from Victorian-era Hackney as the background, the film starred John Hurt and Antony Hopkins, and provided a sympathetic portrait of a man who escaped life as a ‘freak show’ circus act to rediscover his humanity. The areas which the film was shot in are now largely unavailable to visit, as they have since undergone redevelopment, though fragments remain in these two key locations.
The Royal Oak pub on Columbia Road provided key locations for the biopic of The Krays (1990), notorious 1960s twin brothers and gangsters who ruled over the London crime scene for the better part of a decade. This pub was featured in a shootout scene between the brothers and the police, though thankfully today it is simply a relaxed place to grab a drink while checking out event venues in London. The pub was also subsequently used in 1998’s famous Guy Ritchie film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, alongside other key locations from the film such as Pedley Street Tunnel.
Shoreditch High Street
As a key location in Bridget Jones’ Diary: The Edge of Reason (2004), Shoreditch High Street and a bar within it, Light Bar, provided the space lead character Bridget retreated to as she discussed her troubled love life with her friends over a boozy brunch or two. Easily accessed from your hotel on City Road London, a trip to the bar and high street make a wonderful addition to your visit as a travelling film buff.
Eastern Promises (2007) is a dark film about human trafficking, and used a number of nearby locations to help create the setting for the story. Some of the film was shot in Three Mills Studios, Bromley – but Shoreditch scenes include Broadway Market and Ironmonger Row Baths, which date from 1931 and served as a Turkish bath where a particularly gruesome murder was filmed.
Shoreditch Town Hall
Serving as a location in the movie Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) starring Meryl Streep, Shoreditch Town Hall featured prominently in this tale about a society heiress on a mission to achieve her dream of performing live at Carnegie Hall.