Report - - Deluxe Film Processing Laboratories, Denham July 2016 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Deluxe Film Processing Laboratories, Denham July 2016


grumpy sod
Regular User
I think it's fair to say the window to explore this location was one of the shortest I've ever come across. Within a couple of weeks of it being accessible the developers and demolition contractors descended on the place, in fact it's probably thanks to them that we ever managed to get it done as they were kind enough to leave many doors open. Myself and Landie Man caught it just before stripping/demolition work advanced far enough to make it not worth the effort and saw almost everything.

As far as history goes, this place is steeped in it. Constructed in 1936, it was one of only five buildings in the UK designed by the founder of the Bauhaus movement Walter Gropius for film producer Alexander Korda. The film processing laboratory - formerly Rank before being taken over by Deluxe - is the last surviving building from the original Denham Film Studio complex, it's one of the only surviving examples of industrial architecture from the Modern Movement of the 1930s and was Grade II listed in 1985. During it's heyday it was the most expansive and advanced film processing facility outside of Hollywood processing more than 500 million feet of film a year which was distributed to cinemas all over the world. Films processed and edited on site included Brief Encounter, The Great Escape, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Tomorrow Never Dies, ET, Superman 1,2 & 3, GoldenEye, Eyes Wide Shut, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. After Avatar was released in 2009 the film industry shifted hugely towards digital rather than film, and the resurgence of modern-day 3D didn't help at all. In 2014, Deluxe shut down with the loss of around 70 jobs, at it's peak there had been over 1200 people working in the facility.

The non-listed parts have all now been demolished, and redevelopment is well on the way. Looking back, this is up there with my favourite explores of the last couple of years and I feel lucky to have been one of the few who managed to see it. It was such an immense place, and although largely stripped out offered some awesome sights such as the eight private viewing screens all in varying states of completeness.

Thanks for looking :)​


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Enjoyed your report! Well done for documenting this before it was redeveloped.