British & Colonial

The next company to open a studio in Walthamstow were the already established British and Colonial Kinematograph Company, who by 1914 were one of the top six film companies in Britain. In the summer of 1913 they made what is considered the first ever British epic The Battle of Waterloo shooting some scenes on Whipps Cross and by October of that year they moved into what was a former roller skating rink at 317-319 Hoe Street (now the former post office telephone exchange building). In 1916 B&C as they were known went on to make  the celebrated Battle of the Somme which with an audience of 20 million (almost half of the UK population of 1916) in just 6 weeks still remains the most successful British film ever made. another notable production from B&C was Tragedy off the Cornish Coast which was the first UK feature film to be made at a distant location from a studio.

Of note - one of the company who worked there was Ethyle Batley an early woman producer. Famous performers who worked at B&C were Jack Buchanan, Lilian Braithwaite, Violet Hopson and Stewart Rome (the last two would also be favourites of Broadwest Studios in Wood Street).   

 

THE LOCATION

317-319 Hoe Street

Walthamstow

E17 9BE