Chaplin, 1992

Director

Cast

visit the film locations

Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Visit the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 North Grand Avenue between First and Temple Streets in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles

London: Flights: Heathrow Airport; Gatwick Airport

Visit: Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Grace’s Alley, Wellclose Square, off Cable Street, E1.

Visit: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, E8 (tel: 020.8985.2424)

Sussex: ride the Bluebell Railway between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes

Chaplin film location: The old gasometers on Cheney Road behind King's Cross

Chaplin filming location: Charlie Chaplin’s childhood home in ‘Lambeth’: The old gasometers on Cheney Road behind King’s Cross

Richard Attenborough’s bio-pic of silent film star Charlie Chaplin uses a slew of interesting locations ranging from California to London.

The early life of Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr) in ‘Lambeth’, south London, filmed in north London, behind King’s Cross Station at the junction of the cobbled Cheney Road and Battle Bridge Road, NW1.

The houses – including Charlie’s home – are a vast set which took four months to build, though the gasometers are real enough (they probably look familiar, having been seen in The Ladykillers, Alfie, Backbeat and Shirley Valentine, as well as many other films, ads and TV shows).

The site has since been extensively redeveloped to accommodate the St Pancras International channel tunnel terminal, and two of the three the gasometers have been removed. Their future is uncertain.

Chaplin film location: Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Grace’s Alley, Wellclose Square, off Cable Street, London E1

Chaplin filming location: Charlie saves the day at the ‘Aldershot’ theatre: Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Grace’s Alley, Wellclose Square, off Cable Street, London E1

The scene of little tot Chaplin saving the day when his mother’s stage act takes a nose dive, set in ‘Aldershot, Hampshire’, was filmed in the famous Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Grace’s Alley, Wellclose Square, off Cable Street, London E1.

The hall, built in 1858, was the first and one of the most successful of London’s music halls. It was taken over by scandalised Methodists in the 1880s, and run as a mission until 1956, when it became a rag warehouse. For many years it lay dilapidated, used only for film shoots, including Karel Reisz’s Isadora, with Vanessa Redgrave as the flamboyant dancer, The Krays, Douglas McGrath’s 2002 film of Nicholas Nickleby, Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream and John Landis’s Burke And Hare (as the ‘Lyceum Theatre’ in which the all-female Macbeth is staged), as well as music videos (Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax must have had the Methodists whizzing round in their graves). It’s now home to the Broomhill Opera.

Chaplin film location: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8

Chaplin filming location: Chaplin’s drunk act: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8

Chaplin’s first comic success, crashing the stage as a belligerent drunk, was filmed at the beautiful Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8. The stageside box, in which he makes his appearance, was built especially for the movie. Charlie Chaplin actually did perform here, but you might be surprised to see the theatre again in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Chaplin film location: St Pancras Chambers, above St Pancras Station, Euston Road, London NW1

Chaplin filming location: Chaplin’s mother is confined to the asylum: St Pancras Chambers, above St Pancras Station, Euston Road, London NW1

The ‘Cane Hill Asylum’, where Chaplin’s disturbed mother (Geraldine Chaplin – the real Charlie Chaplin’s daughter) is incarcerated, was filmed inside the disused St Pancras Chambers, above St Pancras Station, Euston Road, London NW1, alongside the King’s Cross location. Closed for years, it is occasionally open to the public (one day a year) to view the stunning Victorian interior, recently used for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.

The riverside audition for music hall impresario Fred Karno filmed in the grounds of the former Astor estate at Cliveden, Taplow in Berkshire – now a grand luxury hotel – seen as ‘Buckingham Palace’ in the Beatles’ film, Help!

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