London Film Museum - About Us
The London Film Museum is the only film museum of its kind in Great Britain, supporting the Film Industry and the talent within it. We are self supporting, reinvesting back into the museum and within the community, creating a number of local area initiatives that also form an important part of the school curriculum.
The London Film Museum (previously The Movieum) was founded and created by Jonathan Sands in February 2008 following the success of Star Wars The Exhibition, which he co-promoted at the same venue the previous year. About 50% of the museum’s collection is from his private archive.
Jonathan began his career as a commercial and advertising photographer, opening his own studio at the age of 17. He moved to the famous Elstree Film Studios as resident photographer in 1997 where he met Nicholas Harrison who owned a prop and events company called Weird and Wonderful.
Starting in 1998 Jonathan worked with Nick Harrison on special projects which included The Aliens Resurrection party at BAFTA and a grand event for the Prince of Malaysia on the set of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace at Leavesden Studios.
Sadly, Nick Harrison passed away at the age of 37, but his legacy lives on.
Jonathan bought the collection and company in 2001 and built it up into a full service production company, creating attractions like The Seven Deadly Sins at Thorpe Park and the Chelsea Football Club Centenary Museum at Stamford Bridge. He was invited to help co-ordinate a tie-in at the Monaco Grand Prix between Lucasfilm and Red Bull, which included the transportation and installation of full size space-crafts, and the co-ordination of the actors in costume during the event.
In 2006 Lucasfilm requested that the 30th Anniversary Exhibition be hosted in London and Jonathan was approached by the promoter to host the event at County Hall, where he had negotiated a short term license to present the exhibition.
Star Wars -The Exhibition opened on May 4th 2007 and was a great success and voted Britain’s No1 family attraction by the Telegraph.
Weird and Wonderful continued to service the film industry with props and set pieces but was falling victim to the CGI technologies which required less physical objects, coupled with a diminishing themed events market.
When Star Wars closed and moved on in January 2008, Jonathan set about moving his entire collection into County Hall under the banner of The Movieum of London, which opened to a fantastic reception in February 2008, following the signing of a 25 year lease on 35,000 sq.ft of the first floor.
However, the team are determined to constantly improve the offering and to create a film museum that is worthy of flying the flag for the industry and the individuals working within it. Everything is produced in-house and in a similar way to a film, from the initial concept, script, art direction, set construction, production and editing.
In March 2008 Jonathan was introduced to Rick Senat, an ex-Senior Executive at Warner Bros. and a pillar within the British film industry. In March 2009, Rick became Chairman and Jonathan Chief Executive. Rick then formed the Movieum's Advisory Group which included David Robinson (Chaplin’s Biographer and well respected Film Critic), Leslie Hardcastle OBE, (creator of MOMI), Linda Ayton (Fred Zinnemann’s P.A.) and Professor Ian Christie (Birkbeck University of London).The first two key decisions to be passed by the new Advisory Group were the rebranding of the name to London Film Museum and to create the Chaplin Exhibition.
In January 2010 The Movieum officially changed its name to the London Film Museum and opened Charlie Chaplin - The Great Londoner exhibition in the same month. The exhibition was completely funded by the Museum.
In June of the same year, the team created its second in house exhibition called Ray Harryhausen, Myths & Legends that to this day attracts many thousands of visitors.
The Museum’s numbers are also growing with over 400,000 visitors to date and many industry events taking place at the venue. In February 2010 the London Film Museum sponsored the Evening Standard British Film Awards which took place in The Debating Chamber and is now an established yearly event. In addition the Evening Standard is our Media Partner.
The response to the changes has been fantastic, and the museum now plays an integral part in the promotion of film and film education in Britain.
In August 2010 Capital and Counties Plc (CapCo) began negotiations with the Directors in order for a new London Film Museum to be created as part of their plans in Covent Garden.
In November 2010, Westminster City Council granted CapCo planning permission for the building on the site of the ex Theatre Museum in the heart of Covent Garden to be split for mix usage and to include a restaurant, as long as the majority of the building retained its cultural status. Hence London Film Museum (Covent Garden) Ltd was established along with a 25 year lease.
Architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates led the project and total refurbishment of the building began in February 2011. One year later and LFM Covent Garden Limited was ready to begin installation of its inaugural exhibition entitled ‘Magnum On Set’ supported by the LFM’s own exhibition entitled ‘Capturing the Shadows’.
In addition LFM has developed its own ground-breaking interactive I-tour. The LFM I-tour, is one of the first interactive App's developed in the UK by a Museum and is now integrated into the London Film Museum's inaugural exhibition at Covent Garden, giving visitors the chance to experience it using the Museum’s own iPads.
The Museum opened its doors to the public on the 21st April 2012
The LFM has also built a successful ancillary events division that manages all types of corporate and private functions, from the Evening Standard Film Awards to Film launches and independent exhibitions.
If you would like to find out more about how you can support or contribute to the Museum, email Lucy Ayton at firstname.lastname@example.org
or for events visit www.lfmevents.comLondon Film Museum is the copyright of London Film Museum (Covent Garden) Limited