The London Screen Studies Collection (LSSC), housed in Birkbeck’s School of Arts, is an important archive of films and other materials related to the representation of London and more broadly to the history of film culture in the capital.

The LSSC is an accessible reference library of viewing copies of moving image material made in or about London. This material is wide ranging and often otherwise inaccessible, covering everyday life and significant events in the 32 London boroughs from the 1930s to the present day. The collection now numbers over 1300 films on DVD. As well as feature films and TV programmes, it includes a vast amount of footage from local authority archives: amateur films, home movies, film societies’ outputs, public information films and records of civic events.

The LSSC’s founding director is Ian Christie, who now programmes for BIMI a regular strand of London-related films that are screened in the Birkbeck Cinema typically on weekday afternoons, attracting a loyal and devoted following. For some background information about the LSSC and its wider research agenda, click here.


Current programme

London Screen Study Collection: Spring-Summer 2019 Screenings
London Plays Itself… The Studios, Pt 2

This second tour around some of London’s once-numerous studios includes some of the smallest – notably Highbury, conveniently close to the Arsenal Stadium for a now-historic view of the pre-war team and its then-home; and Riverside in Hammersmith, a thriving film studio before it became home to many popular television series. Beaconsfield was also small, but hosted some stylish productions, including a recreation of London’s Mile End in the 1920s. And Alfie, although based at Twickenham, includes an extraordinary range of London locations, caught in the mid-60s.

4 June The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (Thorold Dickinson, Highbury Studios/Denham, 1939) Leslie Banks, Greta Gynt
18 June The Seventh Veil (Compton Bennett, Riverside Studios, 1945) James Mason, Ann Todd
25 June Sally in Our Alley (Maurice Elvey, Beaconsfield Studios, 1931) Gracie Fields, Ian Hunter 9 July Evergreen (Victor Saville, Gaumont Shepherd’s Bush Studio, 1934) Jessie Matthews 16 July Alfie (Lewis Gilbert, Twickenham Studios, 1966) Michael Caine, Shelley Winters

All screenings take place at the Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, 2pm