New owner plans to renovate studio
LONDON — London’s historic Twickenham Film Studios, which has housed pics including “War Horse” and “The Iron Lady,” has been saved from administration, the U.K. equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, by property bigwig Sunny Vohra.Vohra, who announced the successful acquisition of the near 100-year-old studio on Tuesday, will serve as managing director and has appointed Maria Walker to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Walker, a post-production supervisor who has a long history with the studio, will be responsible for sales, marketing and business development at the studio. She recently spearheaded the campaign to save the studios, which united industryites such as Steven Spielberg, Colin Firth and David Cronenberg as a show of support. The new owners will work with existing staff and management to plan the refurbishment, which, they say, will increase employment opportunities at Twickenham. “The recent press, industry and public interest in the studios has shown how important the studios are to the industry and to the local community,” said Walker. “It is our intention to work closely with all parties to provide a facility that enhances the local area. “I am extremely honored to have been given this opportunity to reactivate the studio and am looking forward to the challenges ahead. TFS has been delivering excellence to the industry for almost 100 years and in my role I want to see that continue.” Twickenham Studios, which was originally named St. Margaret’s Studio after the area in southwest London where it is based, opened in 1913 and has hosted many high-profile films including “Blade Runner,” “My Week With Marilyn,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Alfie” and “The Italian Job.” The studio went into administration in February. Kelly Howard-Garde recently took over as studio manager from Caroline Tipple, who joined in 1978.