Gainsborough Pictures was a British film studio based on the south bank of the Regent's Canal, in Poole Street, Hoxton in the former Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch, London. Gainsborough Studios were active between 1924 and 1951. The company was initially based at Islington Studios which were built as a power station for the Great Northern & City Railway and was later converted to studios. Other films were made at Lime Grove and Pinewood Studios. The former Islington studios were demolished in 2002 and flats built on the site in 2004. A London Borough of Hackney historical plaque is attached to the building. The studio is best remembered for the Gainsborough melodramas it produced in the 1940s.
Gainsborough was founded in 1924 by Michael Balcon and was a sister company to the Gaumont British from 1927, with Balcon as Director of Production for both studios. Whilst Gaumont-British, based at Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush produced the 'quality' pictures, Gainsborough mainly produced 'B' movies and melodramas at its Islington Studios. Both studios used continental film practices, especially those from Germany, with Alfred Hitchcock being encouraged by Balcon—who had links with UFA—to study there and make multilingual co-production films with UFA, before the war. In the 1930s, actors Elisabeth Bergner and Conrad Veidt, art director Alfred Junge, cinematographer Mutz Greenbaum and screenwriter/director Berthold Viertel, along with others, joined the two studios.
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