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Sunday August 25th 2019

Mary Poppins | 1964

Mary Poppins: Admiral's House, Admiral's Way, Hampstead, London NW3
Mary Poppins: the real-life London inspiration for 'Admiral Boom's house': Admiral's House, Admiral's Way, Hampstead, London NW3

No locations, I'm afraid. Every frame of the original 1964 Mary Poppins was filmed on soundstages at Disney’s Burbank Studio, 500 South Buena Vista Avenue, Burbank in California. There’s not a single shot of London.

Disney had several studios but the huge success of the risky full-length animation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937 allowed the company to buy the Burbank property, which went on to become its HQ, in 1940Q.

Initially, the Burbank lot was used only for animation but, after WWII, live-action soundstages were added. Stage 2, one of the largest in LA, was built in 1949 and was used for much of the filming of Mary Poppins. Parts of The Princess Diaries were also filmed here and it’s now known as The Julie Andrews Stage.

The ‘Cherry Tree Lane’ set was built on Stage 4.

The studio isn’t open for tours, unless you’re a member of D23, not a branch of the secret service but the official Disney fan club.

But if you’re looking for a London location, don’t despair. Take a look at Admiral’s Walk in Hampstead, NW3, and Admiral’s House.

It’s striking enough to have been painted by John Constable and was home to architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. For a while it belonged to the exotically named Lieutenant Fountain North, who built that quarterdeck on the roof and was given to firing a cannon to celebrate notable events.

It’s not seen in the film, of course, but this was the inspiration for the home of Admiral Boom in the PL TraversMary Poppins books.