St Albans - Britain's answer to Hollywood?

June 17th 2019
By: Melanie Hollidge

If you love cinema St Albans Film Festival will return for its 6th year this summer. It will be spread over 2 weeks from 25th June to 7th July and will offer a host of different events, including the Outdoor cinema, workshops, talks, and special events.

St Albans Film Festival has a reputation for being an exciting film festival with a fine movie heritage which makes it a haven for film lovers. It has had huge success even in its first year without a cinema thousands of locals turned up to screenings in a whole range of venues and people travelled huge distances to showcase their own films.

In the old days, you may have had to get the bus all the way over from St Albans, to Hatfield or Hemel Hempstead e wanted to see a new Disney film. But no more once Leoni Kibbey, the first film festival director took it on and The Odyssey Cinema project came to fruition providing St Albans with a fabulous cinema to enjoy the latest film offerings all year round. 

But even historically St Albans has been far from sleepy suburbia indeed St Albans has always been a haven for filmmakers: Stanley Kubrick lived there from 1978 until his death. The inventor of one of the earliest motion picture cameras, Arthur Melbourne-Cooper, was born there, as was director Mike Newell.

St Albans and Harpenden are now home to plenty of media-savvy ex-Londoners who have come to the area to enjoy a more rural lifestyle it's almost impossible to find a St Albans resident who doesn't love film. And the closer you look the more it turns out that St Albans is actually quite Hollywood. Because St Albans is so close to Leavesden, Pinewood and Elstree Studios, it has been used as a filming location countless times. With the festival and this film-loving city going from strength to strength, Los Angeles had better watch out.