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Work to install huge sound stage at Dreamland, Margate, for filming of Empire of Light movie

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A 20,000 sq ft sound stage is beginning to take shape in Margate ahead of a large-scale movie production.

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Sir Sam Mendes – the director behind Skyfall and war epic 1917 – will be spending about three months at Dreamland next year to shoot his latest project.

The large sound stage is taking shape. Picture: John Cripps
The large sound stage is taking shape. Picture: John Cripps

Much of the movie’s production will be based at the seafront attraction, with a huge soundproof studio being built on the edge of the theme park.

Pictures show the stage’s metal framing being installed on an area of wasteland between the A28 and Hall by the Sea Road.

Workmen are on-site creating the stage ahead of the start of filming, which is scheduled to begin in January.

The film, title Empire of Light, is described as a love story set in an old cinema in the 1980s.

It is to be Mendes’ first solo outing as a movie screenwriter.

The stage will measure 20,000 sq ft once complete. Picture: John Cripps
The stage will measure 20,000 sq ft once complete. Picture: John Cripps

Academy award winner Olivia Colman is set to be the film’s lead, and will star alongside Jamaican-born British actor Michael Ward who plays Jamie in Netflix hit Top Boy.

A planning application to install the temporary stage at Dreamland has not yet been decided, but work building the set has already begun.

The large structure, which can be seen from the town’s main sands, is due to remain until June.

Where the sound stage, and car park space for the production will be located
Where the sound stage, and car park space for the production will be located

Filming is set to take place between January and March.

Planning documents state: “The demountable stage construction will form part of the Dreamland complex and will build on what is already a hub for media activity.

“The stage can be considered as a large opportunity to drive economic growth in Margate, addressing the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The design of the large sound stage. Picture: Serious Stages Ltd
The design of the large sound stage. Picture: Serious Stages Ltd
Michael Ward. Picture: @michaelward / Instagram (53226180)
Michael Ward. Picture: @michaelward / Instagram (53226180)
Olivia Colman is starring in the movie. Picture: Olivia Coleman/Instagram
Olivia Colman is starring in the movie. Picture: Olivia Coleman/Instagram

“The stage will be adequately sound attenuated to allow dialogue to be filmed and recorded inside, noting that it just as important to stop sound entering the space from the exterior as much as sound affecting surrounding properties.”



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